Anne Hidalgo: The Paris Mayor taking on the French President

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mayor of london Sadiq Khan He was among the first to congratulate his Parisian socialist counterpart Anne Hidalgo, upon her announcement that she was running in next year’s French presidential elections.

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They are friends and have always publicly displayed their affection, hugging on the Eurostar platform. “London is a suburb Paris, and Paris is a suburb of London,” said the mayor of Paris. He noted 250,000 French citizens living in London, making our capital one of the 10 largest French cities. Both are children of immigrants of modest origin Khan and Hidalgo have worked together on the impact of climate change and pollution in their cities.

However, since his re-election in 2020, Hidalgo, 62, may also be inspired by another London mayor, Boris Johnson, who used the role as a launchpad to rise to the top. Like her, France’s first female mayor is relentlessly drawn to high places. The Elysee Palace has proved to be a strong magnet for the woman who sees herself as the savior of the French Left.


His presidential manifesto is entitled Une Femme Française and promises to build “a better France”. “Our country has reached the threshold of neoliberalism,” he said. “We have to invent another model of an economy combating ecological transition and inequality.” This matches the mood of the people of the country where, after the pandemic, people want the state to be more pragmatic with stronger social and financial protections, greater welfare and action on inequalities. There is significant support for bringing back the socialist-enacted wealth tax that President Macron abolished.

People. Dress. Power. given weekly.

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The tone is markedly different from a set set by former presidents, including Nicolas Sarkozy, who was sentenced last month to House arrest after illegally funding his campaign for re-election in 2012. He has vehemently denied wrongdoing and will appeal. The left should have taken advantage of right-wing Sarkozy’s fall from grace, but they have their own problems. With five declared candidates, there may be more, he has been called a “confetti” leftist, and the latest polls have not been kind to Hidalgo, who has gone from nine percent to six percent of the intended vote since he announced it.

Sadiq Khan and Anne Hidalgo

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Will she gain the support of her party on Thursday? The Socialist Party has not fully recovered from its defeat in the last presidential elections in 2017, when its candidate Benot Hamon scored six percentage points in the first round after withdrawing from politics.

Certainly many would argue that Hidalgo possesses the qualities necessary to unite the “Orphans of the Left”. She often talks about her modest start in life, her immigrant parents, an electrician and a seamstress, who fled Franco’s Spain when she was two years old and moved to Lyon; His solid experience after 20 years as deputy mayor of the capital city and then mayor; And the fact that she is a woman and had to fend for herself in a male-dominated environment. Hidalgo has two older children from her first marriage and a third, 19-year-old Arthur, with her second husband, Jean-Marc Germain, a socialist politician.

He is a less divisive figure than the hard-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon, and both are more attractive to the wider electorate than the socialist Arnaud Montberg, who only talks about the reindustrialization of France. Backed by a group of young and ambitious socialist French mayors, Hidalgo must soon make a real entrance, or she risks losing momentum. But sometimes she seems a little too desperate. Recently, his proposal to double teachers’ salaries was met with disbelief, as was his suggestion to reduce the tax on petrol. Not exactly in line with his policy of taking cars out of Paris.

Hidalgo, however, can only take some comfort from seeing what is happening on the French Right. While the main party, Les Républiques, is still deciding how it will go about choosing its candidate or supporting one of the three declared runners-up – Michel Barnier, Valérie Pecresse and Javier Bertrand, all former ministers to Sarkozy. Living far and wide through his revolution. Marine Le Pen, who polled 28 percent in the stratosphere just before the summer, has dropped to 15. The perpetrator is Eric Zemor, a ethicist and television talk-show star who has yet to be announced. Now voting ahead of Le Pen, at 16 percent, he wouldn’t be crazy to run for president. Invited a month earlier to debate with fiery speaker Mélenchon on television, Xémour proved more popular with audiences with his man-in-the-street delivery and with simple, if not ingenious ideas, mostly for immigration. about. The son of Algerian Jewish working-class parents, Zemor is also playing the modest upbringing card. Le Pen’s former party leader father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, went against him to support him.

President Emmanuel Macron

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/ Reuters

The elephant in the room is the president, who hasn’t declared himself yet. Macron should be seen, for as long as possible, as the man in charge, working to restore France’s economy after the pandemic, and to deal with the many geopolitical challenges of the time, the European fortress. Holding up as Angela Merkel exits the scene. As we say in French, the disorganization of both the right and the left is giving it a boulevard. The Presidency seems like an easy victory if the polls see him face 24 percent in the first round and about 65 percent for the second.

However, France being France, it would be unwise to predict a race that could deliver spectacular crashes and victories. But if Hidalgo wants to challenge the president and lead the Left to victory, she has to move up a gear.


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