Gérard Collomb back in Lyon: "This city is my life"

THE PARIS WEEKEND. He gave us his first interview after he was re-elected mayor on Monday, November 5. The occasion for Gérard Collomb to proclaim his love for Lyon, which he had considered to be communicated to … Emmanuel Macron.

It is a more complicated return than expected. Gerard Collomb, who received a standing ovation when he left Lyon's mayor's office for the Ministry of the Interior in Paris in May 2017, was greeted more freshly by the City Council on Monday (November 5). . Annoyed with seven fewer votes than in 2014, he told us about his luck to find the Lyonnais.

You have been re-elected mayor of Lyon with 41 votes to 73, against 48 in 2014. Is there feverishness?

GERARD COLLOMB. On the contrary, it is a very good score. The environmentalists, who were part of my majority in 2014, decided to leave, I hope so temporarily. Three other people chose to vote blank, for personal reasons rather than for political reasons. It will be necessary to work at the meeting.

Was it the right time to come back?

No doubt. There is no ministry for eternity, especially the interior, where you have to experience delicate moments.

Do you regret the confused announcement of your resignation, in two steps?

It is complicated to leave a function. And there are precedents. When Emmanuel Macron resigns in 2016 at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, he also goes twice!

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Did you miss Lyon?

Yes, especially since my family lived here. I was criticized because I often came back when I was in Beauvau, but I had to give a few weekends to my daughters, who are 10 and 14 years old! And then Lyon, what a beauty! This landscape we see from the train, when we arrive at Part-Dieu station, the hills of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, the Rhône … It is green everywhere! Every time I returned, I measured the chance to live in Lyon.

How are you as Lyonnais?

I maintain a merger-related relationship with them. When I meet them on the street, they show me a friendship that always touches me. And like them, I am active, enterprising and humanistic at the same time.

Do you regret that you have left the city for sixteen months?

No, it was an exceptional experience and what I brought to the Ministry of Home Affairs will certainly last. I reorganized it, I launched the security police of the daily newspaper, the districts of the Republican reconquest. I laid the foundation for my successor (Christophe Castaner, Ed).

But you have to know how to find your roots. Lyon is important to me. I have a passion for this city that we have changed in a few years. With the industrial crisis in the 1970s and 1980s, some areas of Lyon had become real industrial wastelands. I focused on reducing business, revitalizing neighborhoods, revitalizing our economy by focusing on innovation.

Have you ever hesitated when Emmanuel Macron offered you the interior?

Yes. To leave Lyon, it was a tear. But I could not steal. I have known the difficulties of our country since I picked them up in the large agglomeration Lyonnaise, in the districts of La Duchère, Vaulx-en-Velin or Vénissieux. At the age I have, although I am often criticized, I do not care about a career. You enter the government to serve your country, not to promote yourself.


"The new mandate that I am looking for in 2020 must be used to prepare for the future" Gérard Collomb analysis (Sébastien Rieussec for Le Parisien Week-End)

Your balance in Lyon is almost undisputed, why not hand over?

I want it to be done in the best possible conditions. I saw dynamic and attractive cities diving because they were badly prepared for the "next". That is my concern. The new mandate that I am looking for in 2020 must serve to prepare for the future.

Why do not you do it earlier?

(Long silence) I was looking for a candidate who has the right profile. There was Emmanuel Macron, but his story was very different.

So you start again in the electoral fight, but without the label LREM …

Yes. As far as each of my campaigns is concerned, I will present a collection list, composed of people from the republic in March, but also from the modem, republicans from left or right, and civil society.

We lend your ambitions for the metropolis, the real place of power …

The election takes place simultaneously with that of the town hall and we will not be able to cumulate the two caps. My goal is to win the city and the city.

And what do you choose for you?

It is eighteen months after the elections, it is a little early to ask these questions.

Have your ties with the president dropped?

Some people think that being minister means only doing what the president wants. On the contrary, I think there should be room for debate. I am described as a donor of lessons. I say what I think, like or not! If you can not bear that, I am steeped in beliefs, so as not to attract me.

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Is the president insulted?

I can have disagreements. But I want, as far as I am concerned, that the President and this government succeed, because it is about the success of France.

> Friday, find the file "Lyon, capital" in "The Paris weekend".