When I rode down from St. Genix to Valence and also later in the Provence, you realize unfortunatelyo rural decline. Including yellowed Le-Pen-Posters it is not difficult to see that this decline is partly responsible for the rise of right-winged parties. But the leftists has just failed as well. It is clear that the right also has no idea how it will be better. If you throw all immigrants out of the country, so not a single “local” has one cent more.
The problem is not just an economical, which can be solved with government intervention in the economy of rural places. Maybe a little bit. But it is about a mass psychological problem. That is, how do you manage the digital optimism (or other kind of optmism) which is only withhold to the middle class? Or more simply: What do they want in the countryside or on the outskirts of the city? What are their interests, their wishes? Otherwise they just hear “European Union” and think their are responsible for everything, etc.
In the normal social democratic parties such thoughts are not discussed at the highest level. But if this remains like that, I guess, the right-winged populist voices gains will still be increased or at least will stabilize. So it looks dark for Europe.
Oh, and I’m just up a hill, the Col du Banchet, near St. Genix in the Haute-Savoie. Later, it was all downhill. On the stage to Avignon it was rather flat, sometimes very beautiful with the Rhone. Above all, however, the climate changed and it was oppressively hot. Hot. Hot. Hot!
7. St.-Genix-sur-Guiers – Valence 110km
8. Valence – Avignon 129km