Foreign Legion SAINT-JEAN-DU-GARD: opponents and Safer discuss pressure on land

Michel Allemand, Gard president of Safer, between Frédéric Mazer on the left (Modef) and Paul Ferté (Farmers Federation) (photo François Desmeures / Objectif Gard)

About sixty protesters from the Vallées cévenoles démilitarisés collective and the agricultural unions Confédération payanne and Modef demonstrated in Nîmes, in front of Safer du Gard. A delegation was received by its president, Michel Allemand, and its co-directors, Michaël Fourel and Hervé Flament. The three main characters informed the specifications to the Ministry of Armed Forces, which would ban military operations.

And what if a spec derails the sale of the Banières base farm to the Ministry of the Armed Forces, at the foot of the Saint-Pierre pass? After several hours of demonstrations and consultations at Safer’s Gard headquarters, at the mas de l’ag Agriculturalure in Nîmes this Wednesday, here’s the question that remains under review, pending a response. from the Ministry of Armed Forces. specifications.

Safer than being accused of overvaluing agricultural property

Informed of the protest picnic, the chairman of Gard of Safer’s technical committee, Michel Allemand, and his directors went down to discuss with the protesters the sale of the farm and its 12 hectares, including six agricultural land. Let’s talk first about the selling price, while the farm, 3 years ago, was estimated by a real estate agent at €410,000. Available this Wednesday, the owner of a donkey farm then visited it… but gave up when the amount – while the sale of the property was delivered to Safer – rose to €585,000. “Who sets the price? » asked a protester. “It is endorsed by a government committee representing the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture”Michel Allemand replied. “Valuation of domains, within 2 or 3,000 €, same as our value”Michaël Fourel, director of the farmland organization Gard, adds. “In Saint-André-de-Valborgne, the Auzillargues farm, estimated by Safer at around €385,000, was eventually sold for €180,000.Take, for example, beekeepers and members of the Confédération who pay toanne Hervé Parrain. The property escaped the farmer because of the overvaluation of Safer. »

On the trails near Banières, residents deployed their protest (pictured DR)

Military action also irritates opponents. Michel Allemand quickly repeated its position of regional president, Dominique Granier, on the activities expected by the Foreign Legion in place (read again here). “I am completely against them using their weapons in Cévennes. » And remember the will of “Lease the farmers for the agricultural part”. A provision was included for acceptance by the Safer allocation committee in December, but the one Dominique Granier intends to be simple one-year renewable supply agreements.

Foreign corps banned from military activities

Except this time, the recent specifications submitted by Safer to the Department of the Armed Forces, before the deed of sale was signed, spoke well of a rural lease, which for a period of nine years could be extended. term. The lease contract Gard’s goal had access and bound the buyer “Lease the unbuilt portion of the property by way of a country rental or other Safer-approved written contract to one or more Safer-approved operators”. Possibly agricultural plots, but also a forested part of a 12-hectare farm. After that, only the frame for legionnaires remained. Also unwelcome in the woods outside the compound, local residents have threatened to remove access to hiking trails – including the Stevenson trail – if the military uses them. make a gym. Safer, competitors – and of course sellers caught up in this controversy – are therefore awaiting this response from the military.

Safer leaders eventually received a delegation for more than an hour (photo François Desmeures / Objectif Gard)

However, that won’t be enough to appease the opposition, especially the reproaches at Safer, accused by the opposition of systematically selling to the highest bidder, even if it carry a non-agricultural project. Much of the afternoon’s discussion, between three Safer players and a squad of opponents, focused on this topic. “When you are a seller, you always want to sell at the highest price.” argues the Gard director of the agricultural organization, Michaël Fourel, who recalls that his organization must also protect the interests of sellers. “In the Cévennes sector, there is a market that is not of the agricultural sector. » “It’s not our fault if, at the moment, Cévennes is in such high demand,” lamented Michel Allemand. The way of saying the price desired by the seller hardly allows the farmer to set. “If Bang comes, there must be a vehicle for the dice to be loaded”Frédéric Mazer, breeder and trade unionist in Modef commented.

“We asked for a pre-built and unbuilt parser, Michael Fourel argued. This allows us to preprocess only the agricultural part. But the backfire is that we can no longer discuss prices on the built …” And you can’t back out of the sale, let it be between the army and the sellers, hit first, hit later? »try Frédéric Mazer. “The management commissioner will not claim pre-emption of sales at the same price”Hervé Flament explains. “Three agricultural properties have been sold in this area recently, ranging from 8 to 12 hectares, continued Michel Allemand. They didn’t go through with us and sold for between €450,000 and €800,000… If we didn’t represent the seller’s interests, would the owner come see us? We’ve done twice as many pre-hits at the Gard in 2021 as in 2020. I’ve come to show off in Larzac, I’ll come and prove it to you tomorrow if the army exercises in Saint -Jean-du-Gard. »

“They will deny you the countryside lease once the deed is signed”

“Why are we here? Because trust is broken Frédéric Mazer continued. You promise us to sign a lease on a country house, they will refuse it to you after the deed of sale has been signed. “We will only sign the deed when the rural lease has been signed”promise to Hervé Flament ” eye to eye. If it had been done the other way, Safer would have disrupted the sale. “It would cost you a lot and it would cost you less to break today’s sale.Frédéric Mazer countered. Our recommendation, It’s safer to buy the agricultural part, or we buy together. If the agricultural part is sold to the army, we will have difficulty in the war. » Collectively, through the voice of the elected opposition member in Saint-Jean-du-Gard, Elsa Mas, wishes that the building also would not return to the Legion, “Because we need families and lives, especially to fill our schools. The seller will also have to return to the table. » Confédération Paymentanne and Modef also call for reconciliation between sellers, competitors and Safer.

Five applications have reached Safer’s offices for the agricultural part of the Banières farm, “one cattle rancher, two sheep farmers, one horse breeder and one winery project are not suitable as perennials cannot be obtained”, Michel Allemand details. Suspended files are also at the discretion of the Armed Forces Department on Safer specifications.

Francois Desmeures

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