Shortly after accepting the request for resignation of the mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, who had expressed the desire to leave office after being the subject of threats and violence, the prefect of Loire-Atlantique assured Wednesday before senators that the State and himself had supported the elected, but recognized a "collective failure" in this case.
This resignation is a serious event and it challenges from the moment when an elected representative of the Republic considers that he is no longer able to exercise the mandate entrusted to him because of pressure, intimidation and threats accentuated by a political recovery of the extreme right and nationalist movements, "said the prefect Fabrice Rigoulet-Roze, during a hearing by the Senate Law Commission.
'Lack of state support'
The resignation of the mayor is notably "based on the feeling of a lack of support from the State", regretted the prefect, considering that "it is a collective failure and I take my part as territorial representative of the State". It was before the Law Commission that the DVD mayor of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, Yannick Morez, had deplored the "flagrant" lack of state support since the officialization, at the end of 2021, of the transfer near a school in his commune of a reception center for asylum seekers (Cada).
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Yannick Morez had explained his choice to leave office by the fact that he had felt "alone, abandoned", and that his interlocutors seemed to minimize the threats that targeted him. These attacks culminated in the early morning of March 22 with the burning of two of the mayor's vehicles in front of his home, whose facade had also been hit by flames while he slept there with his family.
Recalling the "social context" very tense at this time, with violent demonstrations in Nantes and Saint-Nazaire against the pension reform that mobilized the prefecture and the police, Fabrice Rigoulet-Roze, however, insisted on the fact that the pressure exerted on the mayor had been "taken seriously". For the prefect, the decisions that had been taken before the arson concerning the safety of Yannick Morez "seemed appropriate and proportionate at that time; In retrospect, the question arises."
The sub-prefect of Saint-Nazaire, Michel Bergue, also interviewed, told senators that he had received "no particular alert on the physical safety of elected officials" of Saint-Brevin before the fire. After the arson, "the gendarmes have also taken without delay reinforced protection measures," noted Fabrice Rigoulet-Roze. These included the passage of patrols of gendarmes four times a day at the mayor's home and a registration in a file of priority calls for rescue.