The 248 left and right parliamentarians have signed a bill to organize a referendum against the privatization of Aéroports de Paris (ADP). How did this facade come about?
Patrick Kanner This passage is historical. It has never happened in the history of the Fifth Republic, following the constitutional revision of 2008, that more than 185 parliamentarians consent to launch a joint initiative referendum (RIP). The text was presented Wednesday at the National Assembly, after a collective work. The idea arose from the denial of the privatization of ADP by the Senate and was reinforced by the debate in the Assembly. When we saw that there was unanimity in the opposition, left and right, to oppose this project, we started looking for tools to counteract the will of the government. With Valérie Rabault, president of the PS group in the Assembly, we have associated in the first place the two communist groups of the Senate and the Assembly, very hostile to this privatization. Then we expanded the front thanks to parliamentarians LR, FI, LT, RDSE, UDI, UC and unregistered. All together we managed to overcome our differences considering that national interest is at stake. We do not find the spirit of the CNR here, it could be a bit daring on my part, but in any case a high awareness of the role of politics.
What are the steps to organize this referendum?
Patrick Kanner It was first necessary to collect signatures and archive the text as soon as possible, because it is not possible to start a RIP procedure on a text promulgated for less than a year. Here we are in the nails: the Pact Act, which contains the measure of the privatization of ADP, has not yet been definitively approved and even less promulgated. The Constitutional Council will now have to verify the conformity of our proposal. His work will be completely analyzed, because it is the first time he will have to decide on a RIP. Then we will have nine months to sign at least 10% of the electorate, or 4.7 million people, so that the referendum is finally organized. We are very clearly on an obstacle course. A whole year of fighting is waiting for us. If the Constitutional Council authorizes us, we will conduct an intense campaign, with all the citizens and all the local elected representatives opposed to this privatization, to obtain the organization of this vote.
What question do you want to ask by referendum?
Patrick Kanner We want to give the French people the opportunity to affirm or not the character of the national public service of ADP, which will make its privatization impossible. For us, it is obvious that the airports of Roissy, Bourget and Roissy are of national interest and cannot be sold privately. We also believe that it would be completely unlikely to do so at the end of the great national debate, without consulting the French, even if they constantly claim to be more involved in political decisions. It's up to them to choose. We cannot repeat an error as obvious as that of the privatization of highways without having an exchange built with the citizens.
Has this parliamentary initiative been made easier by the fact that the arguments used are consensus?
Patrick Kanner Absolutely. Some tell us that it is scandalous to sign with the right. But when the defense of the national interest is shared and we have the same analysis of the problem, at a given moment it seems normal to move forward together. We all agree that the privatization of ADP is a mistake in terms of national sovereignty, environment and territorial planning. It would also be a bad economic operation, because ADP pays dividends to the state each year. The government says it wants to release 250 million euros a year with this sale, but to say that it is only possible by selling ADP is a joke while our budget is 330 billion euros. In truth, the executive is privatized to fill the gaps due to poor budget choices. It must be prevented from selling both the entry of France and a chicken with gold eggs. And we must put an end to this dogma of less and less state and less public services by imagining that the private would necessarily be better. There are limits to be overcome: we must not touch the national heritage and what belongs to such a wide monopoly.
President of the Socialist and Republican group in the Senate