The city alone conveys the image of a “falling France” in the collective imagination. This France with a glorious industrial past which, from textiles to steel and armaments, was swept away by changes in capitalism and by globalization. Saint-Etienne, city of unemployed people at the end of their rights, of decatised PMUs and immigrants converted into “new poor”? The decor, nourished by prejudices, was set to allow Emmanuel Macron to deconstruct the Declinist theses. And, in doing so, to attack without citing his still unofficial opponent in the April 2022 presidential election, Eric Zemmour, megaphone of a France nostalgic for a fantasized Gaullo-Pompidolian past.
Monday, October 25, it was first during a visit to the headquarters of the Stéphanoise company Siléane that the President of the Republic unfolded the scenario of an industrial and conquering France that would not give way to fatalism, again less inward-looking.
Specializing in robotics, vision and artificial intelligence, this company embodies the hope of “Reindustrialisation” of the country, explained the head of state.
“The trades that are yours, robotization, the modernization of the transformation of the industrial process, are key and it is a real transformation of the industry on which we had historically fallen behind that we are trying to do. to catch up with forced march. Robotization, the digitization of our industry, it is an essential battle “, he insisted, addressing the employees of the company to announce an envelope of 800 million euros dedicated to the robotics sector as part of the investment plan of 30 billion of “France 2030”.
Synonymous with the advent of technology 4.0, this dizzying moment when machines talk to machines, the company must demonstrate that robotics is not scary. On the contrary. Robots make it possible to avoid relocations and bankruptcies by replacing painful and unprofitable tasks with machines, it is argued at Siléane. “We are here to boost industries”, supports Julien Reynard, technical director of the company.
“Nostalgia is a bad advisor”
Emmanuel Macron believes it too. Arriving in the Loire, “He understood that it was not a question of bringing the workshops back to China, underlines Gaël Perdriau, mayor Les Républicains (LR) of Saint-Etienne. Saint-Etienne is a city which has always demonstrated its ability to adapt. It is the city of the first sewing machine, of the first railroad. There will be other inventions. “
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