Obviously, she imagined a return to politics much more cheerful. When Roselyne Bachelot accepted Emmanuel Macron’s proposal last July, she did not expect to find herself after a few months managing canceled concerts, festivals that fall apart, cinemas closed. With the epidemic, it is propelled into the management of permanent crisis. So, the former minister of Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy connects videoconferences from his Parisian home. And leaves for the field to boost the morale of the troops.
Last Thursday, she made a stop without cameras at the Théâtre du Châtelet, in Paris. The Minister of Culture attends the recording of “Symphonissime”, a broadcast from France televisions where a classical music orchestra reinterprets hits. If shows are prohibited, recordings and rehearsals remain authorized. The room is therefore empty. But there are people behind the scenes. Dark mask on the face, she greets the singer Jane Birkin who leaves the stage. Then, Patrick Fiori. She talks to Carla Bruni. In the dressing rooms, she leaves handwritten words for certain artists. The art of small attentions …
2 billion euros for culture in the recovery plan
“Roselyne Bachelot knows very well how to talk to artists and how to treat them”, comments a ministerial adviser. She doesn’t just cajole them with words. It obtained a budget that increased by 5%. “We feel that his solid experience allows him to know where and how to obtain the means for his sector,” notes government spokesman Gabriel Attal. She also won a considerable envelope of two billion euros for culture in the recovery plan. By way of comparison, the sports sector only received 120 million euros over two years.
Faced with the gravity of the situation, the former TV columnist sometimes grinds black. On the night of October 14, she could not sleep. The head of state’s decision to institute a curfew is so heavy with consequences. How to mitigate the impact? The next day, she tries to get the rules relaxed. She campaigns in our columns so that cinema or theater tickets serve as a certificate to return after 9 pm. She poses as a “mediator between the world of culture and the government”. Jean Castex does not want to know anything. “The rules must be the same for everyone,” he asserts.
Never mind. During the next Council of Ministers, Roselyne Bachelot raises the tone. His colleagues attend, stunned, the rant. “The consequences will be calamitous for the cultural professions,” she laments, by means of a videoconference. It is not possible, it is not fair ”. Furious, she asks for more help. Bruno the Mayor intervenes: “Do not worry, I will take it up at my level”, launches the Minister of the Economy, who exercises supervision over the Ministry of the Budget. The two defectors from the right know each other well. Every summer, they dine together in the Southwest. A few hours later, she won an additional 115 million euros. “We need culture, maybe even more during this crisis,” she explains.
“There is finally someone at the helm”
Then comes confinement. An even tougher test for the minister. Businesses deemed non-essential lower the curtain. “In his place, I would have demanded that bookstores remain open, I would have put my resignation in the balance, I would have made it a symbol, squeaks a former Minister of Culture. Add to this the image of closed book shelves in supermarkets. Catastrophic! Surprisingly, Roselyne Bachelot does not make it a casus belli. “She was Minister of Health, she does not sweep aside health restrictions,” recalls one of her government colleagues. Behind the scenes, on the other hand, she fights for the State to cover the shipping costs of books ordered from independent bookstores. After several days of negotiations with Bercy, she wins.
This lyrical art fanatic knows how to play with her political weight. Although her media space has shrunk with the health crisis, Roselyne Bachelot remains the most popular minister in the government. She even comes third among the favorite personalities of the French after Edouard Philippe and Nicolas Hulot, in the latest barometer of the Elabe Institute. What a contrast! Rue de Valois, she succeeds Françoise Nyssen, then Franck Riester, who had failed to make their mark. “You can feel a significant difference in style,” exclaims the boss of a large cultural institution. Finally, there is someone at the helm, with the respondent and who knows the files. What bad luck if the epidemic were to reduce its capacity for action! “
On Friday, Roselyne Bachelot announced to the National Assembly that she was going to relaunch the “Culture Pass”, by generalizing it to all 18-year-olds. This “Pass” of 500 euros was a campaign promise from the Head of State. It was supposed to offer young people the opportunity to buy books or concert tickets to inoculate them with the culture virus. Since 2017, it has only been the subject of a timid experiment in a few departments. Ready to participate in Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in 2022, Roselyne Bachelot takes up the torch. Like a good soldier. Not resentful of the one who made him plunge back into public life.
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr