Being mayor in France is less and less enviable. This Wednesday, November 23, the day when a thousand city officials are received at the Élysée as part of the 104e Congress of Mayors of France, The Times of London leans on the condition of the most popular elected official in France. Verdict: precarious. A growing number no longer want to be, reports the conservative daily:
“Several hundred mayors have left office due to the stress, attacks and threats they have been subjected to over the past two years.”
They are thousands to have been the target of threats. According to a survey carried out by Cevipof (Centre for political research at Sciences-Po), local disputes and conflicts are less and less settled with civility. The proportion of elected officials who say they have been victims of verbal or written threats has increased by 11 points in two years, rising from 28% to 39%. Incivility (rudeness, aggressiveness), 10 points (from 53% to 63%); insults or insults, 8 points (from 29% to 37%); attacks on social networks or physical violence are also slowly but steadily increasing.
They take the brunt of the discontent
The smaller the municipality, the more the mayors symbolize the powerful French state, notes the Times. “The elected officials traditionally the most loved by the French, especially those in small towns, are now suffering the brunt of the discontent and anti-social behavior that is increasing in the country.” And this for barely 500 euros in compensation per month, a sum that seems very modest in view of the workload.
After collecting the testimonies of numerous mayors, the British daily identifies violence and financial problems as weighing most heavily on these elected officials. The president of the Association of Mayors, the Cannes resident David Lisnard (Les Républicains) also holds the President of the Republic responsible for the difficulties experienced by the municipalities.
He blames her “to have abolished the housing tax without offering a source of financing to compensate for this loss”. A problem that has been aggravated by the energy crisis, which often forces municipalities to turn off lights and heating. Emmanuel Macron for his part, believes the Timesbooed by the same mayors four years ago, will now try to reassure them.