Faced with the dissatisfaction that is mounting with the announcements of measures to fight against the second wave of coronavirus, Anne Hidalgo is a defender of local shops and more specifically booksellers. In an interview with Sunday newspaper, the mayor of Paris announces “a joint initiative”, with other cities, “to authorize the reopening of independent bookstores”, closed due to confinement.
A mistake to “sacrifice” culture
“Culture is essential, it is a mistake to sacrifice it”, explains the socialist mayor, who “deplores that certain local shops, more than ever necessary to maintain social ties and fight against the effects of isolation, have been closed, at least initially, such as bookstores or hairdressing salons ”. Just after the announcement of confinement, she had already demanded Thursday that bookstores “remain open”, believing that cultural life should be “a legitimate reason for leaving, with supporting evidence”.
Petition addressed to President Macron, booksellers who rebel, literary prices postponed, initiatives have multiplied in recent days to support bookstores, which are not part of the list of so-called “essential” shops authorized by the government to remain open during containment. However, they can make deliveries or offer to pick up orders at the store door.
An “inequality” of treatment
Several mayors of small and medium-sized towns (Perpignan, Brive, Beaune, Valence, Chalon-sur-Saône, Colmar etc.) have issued decrees authorizing the opening of non-food businesses, including bookstores, in their municipality, denouncing the “Inequality” of treatment vis-à-vis mass distribution and online sales. Associations of elected officials such as the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) have also pleaded for the reopening of these local shops, and the UDI has encouraged its mayors to take decrees in this direction.
The leader of the LR opposition in Paris Rachida Dati also pleaded Saturday, on Facebook, for the reopening of booksellers and access to culture, which is according to her “an issue in the fight against separatism”. “I grew up in an environment where culture was considered a luxury, a comfort. I discovered reading, not by my parents – my mother did not know how to read – but by the teacher, by the bookseller, by the bookmobile which stopped in the city and was our window on the world ”, explains the mayor of the 7th arrondissement.