Faced with Eric Zemmour, the mayor of Geneva breaks with traditional Swiss neutrality

“This gentleman is not welcome. Its presence is not opportune in a place managed by the city; which would make her complicit in the spread of hate messages (…) We would be in total contradiction with the policies that we lead and with the values ​​that we defend. “ For her only public outing in the last two weeks, the new mayor of Geneva, Frédérique Perler, who has held the post since 1is June, did not make in the lace, Sunday November 14, on the waves of RTS Radio.

As soon as it was released, the sentence made everyone jump, like Geneva lawyer Marc Bonnant, who believe that freedom of speech should never be limited. He himself was finally to dialogue, as planned, with the far-right polemicist and almost French presidential candidate, on November 24, but in a private room.

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How far must go the liberal tradition of a city that is honored to have served as a refuge for the persecuted of all origins, beginning with the Huguenots during the second half of the sixteenth century?e century? Can hate speech condemned by the justice of a neighboring state be exported to the other side of Lake Geneva in peace?

Mayor by rotation

Faced with all these questions, and the avalanche of requests, the town hall simply sent to the World a five-line text indicating … that she no longer wishes “Communicate on the subject”. The controversies are not to the taste of Frédérique Perler. It is true that mayor, in Geneva, is not a function as prominent as one might imagine, except when the news gets carried away, to the chagrin of the person who has the misfortune of occupying the position. at this moment.

To begin with, the municipal executive is called here administrative council, which leaves a fairly precise idea of ​​its function. It is rather on the left today, made up of two socialists (Christina Kitsos and Sami Kanaan), two greens (Frédérique Perler and Alfonso Gomez) and a centrist (Marie Barbey-Chappuis).

“I’m not going to start communicating on assumptions or making announcement effects. I regret that we live in an age where some are speaking out before things happen. I don’t always ring my little doorbell, but I pedal. “Frédérique Perler

A suprise ? Not really. Even if it remains a city of bankers and great patrician families and that it is home to a large international community due to the presence of the UN headquarters in Europe and more than a dozen major international and humanitarian agencies, the city ​​has remained faithful to its anchoring on the left. The old pink-red alliance which could count on a working-class electorate – Geneva has known several communist mayors – has succeeded a pink-green team carried by the bobo vote.

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Faced with Eric Zemmour, the mayor of Geneva breaks with traditional Swiss neutrality