French senate approves French GP at Yvelines

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The French senatorial majority has on Friday adopted a plan for the authorisation of a Formula 1 circuit in the Paris region, in Yvelines. It was agreed as part of the plan to relaunch the economy out of the current financial crisis.

Whereas a favorable exit seemed difficult to consider a few weeks ago, the senators have just adopted an amendment authorizing the behaviour of a Grand Prix in Yvelines. The UMP amendment makes it possible to use a fast procedure to exploit a F1 circuit.

“The continuation of a Grand Prix of F1 in France is a national stake. If the construction and the delegation of management of this equipment are carried out within a short time, it is possible that a Grand Prix can again be held in France as from 2011” put forward the first four signatories of the amendment in their explanatory memorandum, Bruno Gilles and Sophie Joissins (both of the Rhone delta), Michel Bécot (Two-Sevres), Eric Doligé (Loiret).

The Minister for the revival Patrick Devedjian said to very much favour the proposal. “The Prime Minister follows this business with much interest, he added.

The opposition was obviously less happy with the decision. Bariza Khiari of the PS claimed the new circuit will come at the expense of more than 400 jobs at Magny-Cours, but chances are likely that this would have happened anyway if F1 finally decided not to go there any more.

“It is the lobby of the automobile Federation” which acts for this harmful amendment “for the environment, without economic interest for the community but well in the financial interest of some private interests”, increased Jean Desessard (Greens). Corinne Lepage, president de Cap21, regretted in an official statement “that the weight of the lobbys disorder the judgement of the elected officials at the point to make them make completely stupid and unsuited decisions”.

The department of Yvelines, chaired by the deputy UMP Pierre Bedier, signed in as a candidate for the organisation of the French Grand Prix in 2011. The project, named “Yvelines F1 - the valley of the car” has already met sharp opposition, particularly from conservationists. They have argued that it is not in accordance with the spirit of Grenelle of the environment.

This amendment with the law of “acceleration of the investment and construction schedules”, will still have to be confirmed by the CMP (Joint industrial commission, Senate-Assembly).

Source: AFP