For thirty years, the French government has delegated more and more power to local authorities despite the centralization tradition inherited from the Revolution. Yet beyond this transfer of power, the central government retains the most important of all: taxation.
The recentralisation of local taxes planned by the government, a reform promoted under the fancy name “Pacte girondin”, reflects well this resistance.
Local authorities find themselves stuck in a relationship of harmful and pernicious dependence vis-à-vis the central state. Any real autonomy and responsibility of local authorities remains obsolete as long as they can’t control their own finances.
“France needed a strong and centralised power to be built, today it needs a decentralised power to not unravel”, François Mitterrand stated in 1981.
This is why we suggest to complete the process of decentralisation by granting fiscal autonomy to the municipalities. It implies the end of subsidies from the central government as well as the possibility for municipalities to go bankrupt.