Harassment, intimidation… in Ariège, the mayor of Clermont singled out by traders and artisans of the art village

Harassment, intimidation… in Ariège, the mayor of Clermont singled out by traders and artisans of the art village
Harassment, intimidation… in Ariège, the mayor of Clermont singled out by traders and artisans of the art village

the essential
In recent years, relations between artisans and the mayor of Clermont Alex Mirouse have been conflicting, to the point that the latter have left. They share their experience to put their problems into words.

Seen from the outside, one might think that the small village of Clermont, in Ariège, leads a peaceful existence, like so many others. However, for several years, the traders who have settled there claim to have experienced a real ordeal. And according to them it has a name, that of Alex Mirouse, the mayor of the town. “I experienced a real nightmare,” confirms Carole Assié, a painter who rented premises from the municipality from October 2021 to 2022.

One of the disputes dates back to the holding of two artisans’ markets, in December 2021 and June 2022. “He wanted to choose the exhibitors that we invited and exclude those who did not suit him, she explains. He did everything to hinder the event based on the health crisis, even though we followed the rules perfectly because we were outdoors and we had obtained all the information from the prefecture.”

“He denigrated us publicly”

Subsequently, Carole Assié felt a form of moral harassment. “He did not hesitate to spy on us, to denigrate us publicly. He asked us for documents and constantly made changes to them. On the contrary, when we needed papers, they dragged on and we had to ask for them several times.”

These inconveniences created a deleterious climate, before another incident worsened the situation: “The mayor came to my workshop to offer to ‘help me out sexually’, exactly in these terms, adds the latter. A proposal that I refused and some time later, I had the unpleasant surprise of seeing my rent increase by 200 euros.”

These events greatly affected the artist, who confesses to having lost inspiration and the desire to paint, and was even forced to take sick leave, a first in ten years. The damage would not only be moral since she estimates the financial loss at 20,000 euros while she was in Clermont.

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“I trusted, I shouldn’t have”

Anthony Ripoll, a blacksmith who settled in the village, also left feathers in Clermont. “From the first day, something that made me tick,” he notes. “I immediately noticed another artistic ironworker installed in the neighborhood. The mayor assured me that the latter was on his way out. and that I had nothing to worry about, I trusted, I shouldn’t have. Finally, I learned that the craftsman had no desire to leave and that really changed the beginning. of my activity. Fortunately, we made sure to work on good terms with my colleague.”

As with his artist neighbor, the inconveniences were numerous and the mayor’s attitude particularly affected him. “He was quite intrusive and directive even though he did not have to intervene in our activities. We just had a duty of permanence, which we kept. There were also oral agreements not kept, a threat of expulsion within four days based on a document that the town hall had not provided me with.”

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“His first instinct was to send me the gendarmerie”

There is no shortage of examples, as evidenced by Virginie Daragon, who occupied the only bar-restaurant grocery store in the village: “There was a hiccup with the bar license. I had already had business abroad where it was not No specific document was needed for this type of business. Information that I did not know and neither did the mayor, since he did not ask me for it. Then, when the problem was discovered, his first instinct was. to send me the gendarmerie to have me checked.”

The latter also affirms that she was not the only one or the first to find herself in a position of conflict with the mayor. Currently, the artists’ hamlet is deserted. Only the historic trade in croustades is still active.

We contacted the mayor of Clermont, Alex Mirouse. The latter did not wish to react
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