It is a puzzle for many village mayors: to support local commerce and local services. In Touët-sur-Var (Alpes-Maritimes), the mayor (LR) Roger Ciais is struggling to attract professionals ready to settle in this town of 700 inhabitants of the Nice hinterland. After having invested to create a dental practice, and brought back a craftsman-butcher, he is now working to help an ophthalmologist to set up, with consequent advantages for the healthcare professional. “It is the town hall that finances the work (…) and we also finance the equipment”, he explains.
The problem is specific to a large number of villages in France. On the set of the 13 Hours of France 2, journalist Valérie Heurtel explains: “59% of rural communities no longer have local shops”. Many mayors are mobilizing to bring their towns back to life. Example in Voivres (Vosges), where “The municipality and the inhabitants have invested, bought and restored farms to install families and create integration projects. Businesses have set up, the town has gained a hundred inhabitants “ indicates Valérie Heurtel.
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