For associations of local elected officials, the resignation of Yannick Morez, the mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins (Loire-Atlantique), has rekindled the urgency for firmer action by the State in the face of a deleterious climate. which they have denounced for a long time. President of Villes de France and Les Républicains (LR) mayor of Châteauroux, Gil Avérous recalls that the number of incivilities and attacks on elected officials “exploded while leaving containment”.
A finding confirmed by data from the Ministry of the Interior: between 2021 and 2022, the number of facts listed rose from 1,720 to 2,265, a jump of 32%. These aggressions, most often verbal, testifies Mr. Avérous, are “more and more systematic on the part of citizens. We face a torrent of insults, defamation, and false rumors that can circulate on social networks”. It’s a profound change, he warns, recalling the discredit that strikes all institutions: “Before, in a large village or town center, there was the teacher, the doctor and the mayorhe continues. These three figures inspired respect. Over time, the public perception has changed a lot. »
Certainly, the government denies underestimating the phenomenon. A law was passed in January, which gives the possibility to associations of elected officials or local authorities, in particular, to file a civil action in order to support the victims. ” A good signrecognizes Mr. Avérous, but it is clear that it is not a bulwark against attacks and attempts at intimidation. »
In March, the Minister Delegate for Local Authorities, Dominique Faure, announced the strengthening, ” before summer “, sanctions against those who undermine elected officials. The idea is to make it an act as serious as attacking a policeman, a firefighter or any state agent in uniform. Similarly, a center for “analysis and the fight against violence against elected officials” will be launched on May 17, the government announced. It will be installed in the premises of the Ministry of the Interior and will aim to “mapping violence (…)to understand its origin in order to obviously be able to act in the field of prevention”said Dominique Faure, Friday, May 12, on BFM-TV.
“A real criminal follow-up”
The Association of Mayors of France (AMF) has asked to be able to participate in the work of this cell, which it seems to be on the way to obtaining. But, beyond that, “mayors must be supported by actions, not just words of encouragement”, points out the AMF. In fact, the mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins denounces “lack of state support”. He found himself alone to defend, in the face of intimidation from the far right, a project to develop a reception center for asylum seekers, which was nevertheless decided without consultation by the State itself.
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