In an interview with the JDD on Sunday, Laurent Wauquiez had said that when he took the Region to the left at the end of 2015, "the budget of culture was 59 million euros" and "today 77 million".
These figures are false ", assures the regional ecologist group in a statement, saying that the president of the region "accumulates lies and bad faith on the cultural policy of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region that he chairs".
" READ ALSO Laurent Wauquiez criticized after new cuts in regional cultural subsidies in Lyon
According to these elected officials, the estimated budget of the Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes regions has indeed increased from 53.7 million euros in 2015 for cultural and artistic activities (14.7 million in investment, 39 million in operation) to 42.9 million in 2023 (11.1 million in investment, 31.8 million in operation). "This represents a 19% decrease in operating grants to cultural actors since 2015," they calculated, detailing the figures in a table.
Laurent Wauquiez had assured in the same interview with the JDD that "the majority of the credits of the Ministry of Culture are reserved for Paris, the Île-de-France Region and some metropolises" by evoking "a two-speed culture". Thus, to circumvent this inequality, he maintains that "rebalancing is the guideline of my policy" taking the example of the Lyon Opera... to which he had "slashed 500,000euros last year ...", according to the JDD.
If we approve the need for a necessary rebalancing at national level, this cannot be done to the detriment of the structures financed in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, by artificially pitting metropolises against rural areas. " says the regional environmental group. The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region is second to last of the France regions in its support for culture, "with 8.6 euros per year and per inhabitant only", recall the Green elected representatives.
Since last year's declines affecting both cities and rural departments, no effective rebalancing has been carried out and venues such as festivals working in the countryside have seen their subsidies reduced or eliminated. " says their statement.
Beyond the battle of numbers, it is the ideological battle that Laurent Wauquiez is waging against the cultural sectors that worries us. ", assures the text by pointing to the abolition or reduction of subsidies to structures considered as "political opponents", such as the Festival Lectures sous l'arbre de Chambon-sur-Lignon in 2022, the TNG of Lyon and the Short Film Festival of Clermont-Ferrand in 2023.
According to the opposition of the Greens in the JDD, "between 600,000 and 1 million euros of subsidies have been removed, after a first reduction of 4 million euros in spring 2022".