Economy Controversy at the regional council after the aid paid...

Controversy at the regional council after the aid paid to a tobacco producer

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Illustration of cigarettes. (AP Photo / Patrick Sison) – Patrick Sison / AP / SIPA

Apparently, the financial aid granted Friday by the permanent commission of the regional council of Pays-de-la-Loire to the company LTR Industries is nothing unusual. Except that the activity of the industrialist based in Spay, south of Le Mans (
Sarthe), is to produce
cigarettes, based on reconstituted tobacco more precisely. Faced with strong competition in a European context of declining consumption, LTR Industries (276 employees on its Sarth production site) is seeking to develop a new range. The regional council has decided to grant it 200,000 euros, as support for its diversification process.

A choice that made the elected representatives of the regional council jump. “How can the regional council boast of working for the health of all, display an ambition in the fight against addictions, and pay 200,000 euros to a tobacco producer whose accounts are otherwise in good shape ? How can it ensure its competence in terms of public health while participating in the mobilization against the decline of the tobacco market? Asks the PS group. “Through its research and development program, we understand that the company wants to continue to remain an actor in the tobacco industry”, protested the environmentalists.

The majority (Les Républicains) defends itself by believing that this was a “bad controversy”. “The region does not support tobacco, but a business. What should we do? Close the business? We know the result: 276 unemployed and not one smoker less … The demagogy of the left knows no limits, ”retorts the LR group.

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