former mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin is dead

former mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin is dead
former mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin is dead

“Jean-Claude Gaudin is no more. He was Marseille made man. From his city, his passion, he had the accent, the fever, the fraternity. For her, this child from Mazargues (Marseille district, Editor’s note) had risen to the highest positions in the Republic which he served. I am thinking of his loved ones and the people of Marseillais,” wrote President Emmanuel Macron on the social network X.

A Source close to the former mayor, who most often resided in his Var residence of Saint-Zacharie, confirmed the death, without specifying the circumstances.

Political career

Former senator, deputy and minister of regional planning, the city and integration under Jacques Chirac between 1995 and 1997, Jean-Claude Gaudin was mainly mayor of the Republicans of Marseille, the city where he was born, of 1995 to 2020.

If he embodied the city, his last years in office were criticized for their “immobility” by his adversaries, and even certain allies, and marked by the tragedy of rue d’Aubagne, November 5, 2018. Two unsanitary buildings of a popular neighborhood in the center – including one owned by the City – are collapsing. Eight people died buried.

The shock wave reveals the extent of substandard housing in a city where 40,000 people live in slums. The associations accuse the town hall of having ignored the alerts. In the process, thousands of people were evacuated from homes declared to be in “imminent danger”.

“It haunts me every day, in 24 years I have never experienced such a tragedy,” confided Jean-Claude Gaudin.

The tributes

Two years later, while his potential heirs on the right were divided, some having joined Emmanuel Macron, a left-ecologists-civil society coalition won the town hall after municipal elections with twists and turns.

The current various left-wing mayor, Benoît Payan, who did not spare his criticism in the opposition and often claimed to have recovered with his teams a city in a “lamentable” state, paid tribute to him on X: “Jean-Claude Gaudin seemed unsinkable. His departure saddens me greatly. To the one who loved Marseille, its history and its people so much, I want to pay an emotional and sincere tribute. This city will miss him. His trace will remain. »

“Jean-Claude Gaudin was like a father to me, everyone knows it but I want to write it. A great statesman, an unforgettable mayor of Marseille in our two-thousand-year-old history, and above all a man with an enormous heart”, reacted for her part on today right-wing president of the department and the Aix-Marseille-Provence metropolis.

LR president Éric Ciotti immediately paid tribute to him on X, saluting a man who “loved Marseille more than anything”. “I liked his cheekiness. I admired his courage. I listened to his advice. I am proud to have worked alongside him. My pain is immense, I lose a friend,” he added.

“Jean-Claude Gaudin was the voice and face of Marseille. For decades he was passionately political, a good-natured and colorful mix of Christian democracy and liberalism,” the president of MoDem François Bayrou reacted on X.

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