Burkini in Grenoble: for Gérald Darmanin, “Éric Piolle played the arsonist”

The day after the decision of the administrative court of Grenoble – seized by the prefect of Isère at his request – which suspended Wednesday, May 25, the provision authorizing the burkini in the municipal swimming pools of the city directed by the ecologist Éric Piolle, Gérald Darmanin hails “a victory for the Republic, secularism and law”.

The Minister of the Interior believes that, thanks to the law against separatism passed in the summer of 2021, “the Republic has protected itself against a few communitarian personalities”.

There will therefore be no burkini in the swimming pools of Grenoble from June 1st… Are you satisfied?

GÉRALD DARMANIN. It is a victory for the Republic, for secularism and for the law. Mr. Piolle played the arsonist by using communitarianism. The law reminded him that he has obligations as an elected official and that he violated the law. This law, in this case, is that of the fight against separatism, voted in the previous five-year term and wanted by Emmanuel Macron. It allows the “secularism referral”, thanks to which, in 72 hours, the Republic has shown that it can defend itself against communitarians.

Part of the opposition, from LR boss Christian Jacob to Marine Le Pen at the RN, is even calling for a law against the burkini. How do you answer them?

The identity right and the extreme right were wrong. Neither Marine Le Pen nor Mr. Ciotti nor Mr. Jacob voted the law against separatism, which makes it possible to sanction Mr. Piolle. So they better apologize for not being there.

You attacked the decision of the mayor of Grenoble, while in Rennes the rules of a municipal swimming pool do not explicitly oppose the burkini. Why two weights, two measures?

The law dates from last year (August 24, 2021), but the swimming pool regulations in Rennes predate the adoption of this text. Moreover, in this city, there was no speech promoting the burkini. In the case of Grenoble, there is behind the decision of the municipal council a very active community association, the Citizen Alliance, which we are fighting. We have also deprived it of any public subsidy. However, I will have all the prefects study the local subjects that may exist and, from now on, any deliberation contrary to secularism will be referred to the administrative court.

In Rennes, precisely, the burkini concerns only a handful of cases. Why should this debate be a priority?

The Republic has protected itself against a few communitarian personalities. We have the arguments to attack the inept decisions of Mr. Piolle without targeting the vast majority of people who exercise their faith. It is the communitarian provocation that has been sanctioned. We have the weapons to defend ourselves, we use them when there are provocations. It is not us who put this debate on the table, but the communitarian left.

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