If the global pandemic that we have been experiencing for several months could not be anticipated in its slightest details, the best prepared and most responsive countries or cities have been able to put in place actions to mitigate the health effects.
In Cannes, from February 23, I set up a vigilance and anticipation cell in view of the evolution of the epidemic in our Italian neighbors. From February 24, I brought together all local, public and private, health professionals, for everyone to be fully aware of the crucial importance of a good synergy between all in order to anticipate the immediate preventive measures and good management of positive cases.
In addition, thanks to the stocks that we had built up as part of our municipal plan to prevent major risks, we were able to equip with masks and protective equipment healthcare professionals, hospital and liberal, bus drivers, municipal agents, and even agents of the national police.
Then, we set up a networked masks factory thanks to local designers who manufactured more than 100,000 pieces and we were thus able to distribute them to all the residents of Cannes and to everyone working in Cannes. Daily disinfection operations were carried out in public transport, public spaces, schools, where a childcare system for the children of "priority personnel" was provided by agents from the municipality of Cannes. Associative teams, along with the municipality, were able to help isolated and fragile people and in particular the homeless who have been protected, cared for, accommodated in the Palais des Festivals where a reception center was opened.
During the period of confinement that the French government imposed on the entire national territory from 17 March to May 11, we also wanted sport and culture, which are two important markers of the quality of life in Cannes, to be honored. Therefore, we have offered Cannes residents to follow digital training, artistic and cultural education modules specially put online by our services with the help of Cannes associations solicited for this purpose.
Thanks to all of these measures, the people of Cannes were able to get through this period, in admittedly complicated conditions to live and to endure, but still having the feeling of being supported and of belonging to the same community of life, united and sensitive to their difficulties.
Economically, the municipality has supported shop owners and artisans through support actions such as #HelpCommerces which made it possible to mobilize private funds to carry out “Solidarity purchases” or Allô Courses and Shoppeer which encouraged local consumption to promote Cannes retailers. Companies located in the Cannes area have also benefited from significant tax exemptions to cope with the sudden cessation of activity caused by the several weeks' long confinement.
We went as far as we could to respond to the emergency, the health emergency, the social emergency, to the economic emergency.
With a tourism sector, and in particular the business tourism, which usually represents 25% of our GDP, Cannes, second French city after Paris in this sector, is today one of the hardest hit by the current crisis, but everything is being done to re-prime the economical pump and restore flow.
This is why we appeal to the commercial and tourist civism of the residents of Cannes to help our shops owners, industrialists, artisans and farmers because it is one of the peculiarities of Cannes to be able to count on important tourism and events sectors but also on high technology ones such as with Thales Alena Space, important retail trades and an agricultural sector that we have been developing for several years in the Siagne valley.
The Capital of Cinema and also of outdoor sports, labelled 100% artistic and cultural education and welcoming some of the biggest international fairs and events (including MIPIM, MIPCOM, NRJ Music Awards, MIP TV, Tax Free, Cannes Lions and of course the Cannes Film Festival), a student city focused on the creative economy and protecting its environmental heritage, Cannes has considerable assets and the necessary talents to start again, and with, as an imperative, in the weeks and months to come, the safety of the residents of Cannes, its professionals and its tourists.