Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo: 'Elections could ruin the Olympic Games party'

The mayor has been critical of President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to call snap elections “without consultation with anyone”. Hidalgo proclaims that this could “undermine this beautiful moment”, referring to the potential impact the elections could have on the Olympic Games.

On 9 June, French President Emmanuel Macron’s decision to dissolve parliament and call early elections was a major blow to the Olympic Games. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said on Wednesday that this action could “ruin” the Olympic celebrations in the French capital.

“In an act of mistreatment of the French people, the president is spoiling the party,” Hidalgo told the newspaper Ouest France of Macron’s decision. “I took the announcement of the dissolution (of the National Assembly) just before the Games very badly. I was convinced it would happen later.In a gesture of mistreatment of the French people, the president is spoiling the party,” she added in the interview.

Before the Paris Olympics begin on 26 July, French citizens will go to the polls on Sunday for the first of two rounds of voting.

Opinion polls show the far-right National Rally (RN) party in the lead. This could make it the largest parliamentary group and put it in charge of the government for the first time.

Hidalgo stressed that the Olympic Games are “a union of humanity through sport”. The mayor said: “I don’t understand why the French have to face this important event for their country and its interests when the whole world is watching what happens in Paris with the Games.

Analysts and security sources have warned of the risk of protests and even violence if the anti-immigration National Rally (RN) wins power on 7 July. It would be a seismic shift for France. Macron has called the election a moment of “clarification” and warned against voting for the “extremes”, both the RN and the new left-wing alliance that includes moderate socialists and far-left communists. Polls show his centrist bloc in third place and facing heavy losses.

“My responsibility … is to do everything possible” to ensure the Games are “a moment of harmony, of celebration and not of violence,” added Hidalgo, who ran against Macron in the last presidential election in 2022. She said that if the RN’s candidate for prime minister, 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, were to come to power, she would not appear in photographs with him during the Games.

Despite her comments on the elections, Hidalgo also wanted to send a message of reassurance. She encouraged people to enjoy the Games. “It will be a beautiful public celebration,” she said. Speaking to Ouest France, she added that security was “under control”. However, it is understandable that such an event requires extra support in all areas. “An event like this naturally involves risks, but the security servicesof all the countries are working together effectively,” said Hidalgo.

With less than a month to go, everything seems to be ready. However, there are still doubts about certain aspects, such as the quality of the water in the Seine for the marathon, triathlon and open water events. Both she and Macron said there would be no problem and that they would even swim in the river themselves as a sign that everything was in order, but analysts remain sceptical.

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