Paris mayor and rising star Delanoe to stand again

4th September 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Sept 4, 2007 (AFP) - Paris' Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe is seeking a second seven-year term, promising to make the French capital greener, ultra-modern and affordable for poorer families.

PARIS, Sept 4, 2007 (AFP) - Paris' Socialist Mayor Bertrand Delanoe is seeking a second seven-year term, promising to make the French capital greener, ultra-modern and affordable for poorer families.

Delanoe confirmed in a newspaper interview Tuesday that he would run in municipal elections scheduled for March, at a time when his name is being floated as a potential Socialist candidate for the 2012 presidential vote.

"My programme is aimed at placing Paris ahead of the curve," Delanoe said in the interview to Le Parisien daily.

"Ahead of the curve means that the city will not be subjected to changes that the future may hold but rather is enacting these changes."

The mayor, who spent his childhood in Tunisia, took over at city hall in 2001, replacing rightwinger Jean Tiberi who had succeeded Jacques Chirac in the post when he was elected to the presidency in 1995.

Delanoe's election marked the first time the Socialists held sway in the capital since the post of Paris mayor was restored by Chirac in 1977.

Delanoe said he wants more pollution-fighting schemes such as the free bicycle rental programme "Velib" that he launched this summer, more social housing and greater access to wi-fi wireless networks.

He singled out low-income housing as one of his achievements, noting that more than 30,000 homes were now available for poor families in Paris compared to 9,000 under his predecessor.

The openly gay politician has been at the helm of an uneasy alliance at city hall between the Socialists and the Greens that has nevertheless been credited with a string of innovative programmes.

There is the "Paris Plage" project", a manmade beach along the Seine that has been drawing crowds in the summer to its deck-chairs since 2002.

Sign of the mayor's popularity, the Socialist party made big gains in Paris in June parliamentary elections, winning 13 out of 21 districts, even though it was defeated nationwide by President Nicolas Sarkozy's right-wing party.

Delanoe said he wanted to "reconquer the banks of the Seine" with new projects if traffic can be redirected to other parts of the city.

"I am not anti-car. I am anti-pollution," he said.

The trim, brown-haired politician said measures to reduce the use of vehicles in the capital had led to a nine percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 32 percent cut in pollution.

"I want Paris to be the first European metropolis to strictly enforce European standards" for environmental protection, said Delanoe, who promised to reach a target of a 25-percent-cut in greenhouse emmissions during his second mandate.

Delanoe rejected claims the city of about 2.2 million was a haven for the French bourgeoisie, saying that 72 percent of families who live in Paris are eligible for social housing.

He also brushed aside questions about his political ambitions, saying that for the time being he wanted to win re-election as mayor of Paris.

On Tuesday Delanoe unveiled a campaign website, bertranddelanoe.net, calling on Parisians to join in an open debate on their city's future.

AFP

Subject: French news

0 Comments To This Article