Allemand gambles with the tram

In a risky bid for the mayoral race, Patrick Allemand attacks the tramway project with his boldest statements yet


Left wing politician Patrick Allemand has spearheaded a renewed attack on the controversial second tramway line in Nice. The local socialist party leader has declared that, if elected mayor, he would cancel the planned underground sections of the project in a risky bid for the mayoral race.

“I’ll do to Estrosi what he did to Peyrat,” Allemand declared on his Twitter account on 12th November, alluding to the previous mayor’s town hall construction project, which was scrapped when Christian Estrosi was elected in 2008.

Current mayor Christian Estrosi has been repeatedly criticised for his handling of Nice’s finances, having been dubbed “the father of the debt” by the left. His ambitious tramway project, which has been at the centre of the political debate for years now, includes two underground sections considered by the many opposition members to be too expensive and inadequately planned.

The municipal elections in March could change the project significantly. Should the left win, the tramway would run from the new Allianz Riviera stadium to the La Trinité quartier. “It will be cheaper, and if there are penalties they’ll be his [Estrosi’s] responsibility,” says Allemand.

In a vote organised by the socialist candidate last May, 91.37 per cent of 8,483 participants came out against the underground tramway. Those results are disputed however, but a 15,000 signature petition against the project is now being worked on. In the mean time, construction began last month and the new tramway line is set to open in 2017.

Also published on the Riviera Times Online