Why has the French Prime Minister moved offices from Paris to The Lot?

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Why has the French Prime Minister moved offices from Paris to The Lot?
From Paris to The Lot. Photos: AFP/JM Fumeau, Flickr

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, 13 ministers and 50 advisors have quit Paris and moved to the south west of France... if just for a few days.


The Prime Minister has left his office at the illustrious Hotel Matignon in Paris for the beauty of Cahors in the Lot department, 360 miles away from the French capital. 
And he's taken an entourage with him, including 13 ministers and some 50 government advisors. 
But it isn't some kind of extravagant 48-hour Christmas jolly. 
Instead it's part of a bid to get out of Paris and build up a presence in les least temporarily, with advisors told to be on the ground and permanently in contact with the population there. 
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"The Prime Minister does not want to be content with quick visits. He wants, as soon as he can, to organize longer trips and have more time to listen and speak to people," said one of his entourage, according to a report in Le Figaro.
"Matignon is leaving Paris to go to the French," they said. 
It is believed that the trip is part of a bid to pamper elected officials who are worried about the financial future of their communities. 
And this public relations project doesn't come cheaply, with transport and accommodation costs reaching €30,000.
During the trip on Thursday and Friday, discussions will be held between advisors from Matignon and local authorities to discuss matters as varied as unaccompanied minors, social cohesion and integration at work.
The Prime Minister and his entourage will also stop off at other locations in the Lot department including Figeac, Rocamadour and Biars-sur-Cère, as well as Gourdon, where they may be set for an icy reception. 
One resident of Gourdon, a small town of 4,600 inhabitants, situated 45 minutes from Cahors, told France 2: "We do not have any night trains anymore, except weekends, we want our ticket offices open all day and every day. We want to tell them that we are suffering, in the remote areas, they are cutting off our public services bit by bit."


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