|Mayor of Paris|
25 March 2001
|Preceded by||Jean Tiberi|
|Senator for Paris|
24 September 1995 – 27 March 2001
|Member of the French National Assembly
for Paris (26th constituency)
21 June 1981 – 1 April 1986
|Preceded by||Joël Le Tac|
|Succeeded by||Alain Juppé|
30 May 1950 |
|Political party||Socialist Party|
|Religion||Agnostic (Lapsed Catholic)|
Bertrand Delanoë was born 30 May 1950 in Tunis, at this time a protectorate of the French colonial empire, to a French mother and a French-Tunisian father. His father, a land surveyor, was atheist while his mother, a nurse, was Roman Catholic.
At the age of 11, Delanoë witnessed the Crisis of Bizerte between France and newly independent Tunisia. Bertrand Delanoë moved back to France with his family at the beginning of the Tunisian independence.
After the military base was closed in 1963, Delanoë's family broke up. His mother came to live in Rodez (Aveyron) with her son. After leaving school, Delanoë is said to have started studies in law at the University of Toulouse. According to Who's Who in France he possesses a diploma in economics.
Early political career
Delanoë has been involved in politics since the age of twenty-three as the secretary of the Socialist federation in Aveyron.
He was first elected to the Paris city council in 1977. In 1993, he became the head of the city's Socialist Party.
In 1995, he was elected to the French Senate, where he was secretary of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense.
Mayor of Paris
Delanoë has been mayor of Paris since 18 March 2001, when control of the city council was won by a left-wing alliance for the first time since the 1871 Paris Commune. His predecessors were Jean Tiberi (1995–2001), and Jacques Chirac (1977–95), who resigned after 18 years as mayor when he was elected president of France.
Delanoë won the mayorship of Paris, at the head of a coalition of Socialists, Greens and Communists, over the conservative candidates Jean Tiberi and Philippe Séguin, who were unable to resolve their differences and thereby split the conservative vote. This success in a city which has traditionally been a stronghold of the right was made all the more striking by setbacks to the Left in the 2001 elections that occurred more generally – has been partially attributed with the weariness of the Parisian public with respect to various scandals of corruption and graft in the preceding administrations (see corruption scandals in the Paris region).
Delanoë was virtually unknown before the election of 2001, but soon gained fame for organising new and unusual events in Paris, such as the "Paris Beach" (Paris-Plages) on the banks of the Seine every summer in order to give Parisians who could not take a regular vacation a chance to relax, sunbathe and build sandcastles in the center of Paris. The program, especially popular with families with children, has been in place since 2002, and has since been copied by many other international cities.
Since becoming mayor, Delanoë's goals have been to improve the quality of life, reduce pollution, and cut down on vehicle traffic within the city (including a plan for a non-polluting tramway to ease Parisian traffic) and pedestrian malls. Recently he has helped introduce a new program called Vélib' (a portmanteau of “vélo" and "libre” meaning "free bicycles") which gives Parisians access to inexpensive rental bicycles which are available in stations all around Paris. The program has been enormously successful despite the fact that it still has a few logistical problems to be worked out. He has outlined a plan for an autolib, whereby small cars would be shared. He was reelected in 2008 (57.7%) for a new six-year-term (2008–2014).
Delanoë was stabbed on 5 October 2002 during the Nuit Blanche, a night of festivities in Paris, while mingling with the public. His assailant was a Muslim immigrant, Azedine Berkane, who reportedly told police that "he hated politicians, the Socialist Party, and homosexuals." Speaking to Le Monde, one of his neighbors said, "He was a bit like us. We're all homophobic here because it's not natural." Before being taken to hospital, Delanoë ordered that the festivities continue. Delanoë's wound was not life-threatening and he left the hospital after about two weeks.
Azedine Berkane was eventually permitted to leave the psychiatric hospital where he had been a patient after his doctors no longer considered him a threat. However, in early April, 2007, he failed to keep a scheduled appointment with his doctors, and has not been seen since.
The failure to secure the 2012 Summer Olympics for Paris on 6 July 2005 was Delanoë's first major setback as mayor. In the aftermath of the defeat in his Olympic bid, he accused British prime minister Tony Blair of unduly influencing the result in order to secure the games in London. However, Delanoë's popularity in fact rose during July 2005. The French public appeared to have laid more of the blame on President Jacques Chirac, who allegedly said that "the only worse food than British food is Finnish" which is widely believed to have offended two Finnish members of the International Olympic Committee.
Potential presidential bid
Delanoë was said to be considering challenging then-current president Sarkozy in the Presidential election in 2012. However, this plan suffered a setback in November 2008 when he lost the race for the party leadership to Lille mayor Martine Aubry.
Fake New York Times letter
On 22 December 2008, The New York Times published a letter attributed to Delanoë criticizing Caroline Kennedy's candidacy for the United States Senate seat vacated by Hillary Rodham Clinton. The newspaper later admitted that the letter, which had been sent by email, had not been properly verified, and was a fake.
Delanoë was one of the first major French politicians to announce that he was gay, during a 1998 television interview (before being elected mayor). Although a long-time politician, Delanoë is visible at cultural affairs. He attends film festivals, and he is sometimes quoted in the media or appears on television to speak about his friendship with the late French superstar entertainer, Dalida.
National Assembly of France
Member of the National Assembly of France for Paris (26th constituency): 1981–1986. Elected in 1981.
Senate of France
Senator of Paris: 1995–2001 (resignation).
Mayor of Paris: Since 2001. Reelected in 2008.
Councillor of Paris: Since 1977. Reelected in 1983, 1989, 1995, 2001, 2008.
- Burke, Jason (6 January 2008). "Definitively a mayor à la mode". The Observer (London). Retrieved 18 February 2009.
- "Bertrand Delanoë, descendant de rescapés", Le Parisien, 15 March 2008.
- fr:Manécanterie des Petits Chanteurs à la croix de bois Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois.
- http://hebdo.nouvelobs.com/hebdo/parution/p20010118/articles/a58442-.html Delanoë les métamorphoses d'un amoureux de Paris – Le Nouvel Observateur No 1889.
- http://www.scribd.com/doc/2626780/Faits-Documents-n106 Faits & Documents n°106 – Lettre d'informations confidentielles d'Emmanuel Ratier.
- Vélib'information in English.
- Burke, Jason (6 January 2008). "Definitively a mayor à la mode". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 April 2010.
- Canadian Press article[dead link]
- Rapp, Linda (13 August 2007). "Delanoë, Bertrand". glbtq.com.
- Steyn, Mark (2006). America Alone. pp. 120–121.
- "L'agresseur de Bertrand Delanoë a disparu, 7 April 2007". Retrieved 3 September 2007.
- Sondage : Delanoë au top, Villepin galope (Survey: Delanoë on top, Villepin galloping), TF1, 21 July 2005 (French).
- "Editors' Note". The New York Times. 22 December 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2010.
- City Mayors: Bertrand Delanoe – Mayor of Paris
- "Psychiatric tests for anti-gay attacker". BBC News. 7 October 2002. Retrieved 26 April 2010.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Bertrand Delanoë.|
- (French) Bertrand Delanoë's web site
- (French) Paris and beaches
- The Mayor of Paris, from www.paris.fr
- BBC report on stabbing
- CityMayors.com profile
- (French) Poll of Parisians on Delanoë, January 2006
|Mayor of Paris