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Money: Piscines closed because of the increase in the price of energy: "We all fell from the cabinet"

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Les piscines de la société Vert Marine ont fermé leurs portes ce lundi. © Jarry The swimming pools of the Société Vert Marine closed their doors this Monday.

Friday evening, François de Mazières, the mayor LR of Versailles, consults his mailbox when a message draws his attention. The Green Marine company announces that the municipal swimming pool, which it manages through a public service delegation, will be closed from Monday. And this, for an indefinite period. The city councilor warns his municipal team illico. "We all fell from the wardrobe" , he tells Liberation three days later. Alfortville (Val-de-Marne), Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Vendée), Limoges (Haute-Vienne), Granville (Manche), Nîmes (Gard), Saint-Geours-de-Maremne (Landes)… About thirty of municipalities, throughout France, received the same email and see their waters closed this Monday. The same reason is advanced by the company: the impossibility of dealing with the increase in energy prices, the swimming pools being particularly greedy in gas and electricity.

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Vert Marine assures that these closures are only "temporary" and that its employees have all been placed "partial unemployment" . But for the mayor of Versailles, it is too much. He speaks of an decision "amazing" and "abnormal" . "We couldn't come back, the director of the establishment was not even aware. It's amazing ", he said. Users have not been warned either. Some had to turn around when the doors were closed on Monday morning. In Versailles, one of them already wonders how to be reimbursed for his subscription card.

"They puffed half their cash"

for the company that manages these swimming pools, the energy bill went from "15 to 100 million euros". A multiplication by 6 which corresponds to "all of the annual turnover of the company" , explains Vert Marine in a press release. She would have tried to negotiate with communities since June without finding compromise. One of the ideas put on the table - namely the tripling of the entry rate - was immediately dismissed by the company. With its 2,000 employees, it challenges the public authorities so that decisions are taken "to return to bearable energy costs" . For his part, François de Mazières is sounding the alarm in the face of financial situation "very fragile" of the manager. "They puffed half their cash flow" , he regrets.

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The government should soon unveil tracks to apply its energy sobriety plan to establishments that welcome the public, such as swimming pools and skating rinks. It will be necessary to "find solutions to reduce consumption while preserving sporting and economic activity" , specify in chorus the ministers of sports and the energy transition. Moreover, new measures may be taken "in case of strong tensions on the networks" . In the meantime, children who want to learn to swim, Sunday athletes and residents looking for freshness are forced to stay at the door of the navy green pools. It remains to be seen if other private players in the sector will take the plunge. About 10% of the 4,000 French public swimming pools are managed via a public service delegation and not directly by the community where they are established.

closed swimming pools. Green Marine announces that they will reopen by the end of the next week .
© Archives Ouest-France The Granville swimming pool is one of the establishments that had closed because of the energy prices. The company that had closed around thirty swimming pools two weeks ago because of the energy price announces that it will reopen them by the end of next week.

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