Another deputy mayor who does not represent himself in the legislative elections in Val-de-Marne. This Wednesday evening, Sylvain Berrios, 49, announced to his team and his supporters that he preferred his city of Saint-Maur. He is the 6th parliamentarian, out of 11, not to leave, and the 2nd on the right after Jacques-Alain Bénisti. A few hours before his announcement, Sylvain Berrios received us in his town hall.
Why do you prefer to remain mayor?
SYLVAIN BERRIOS. It is a choice of the heart. I am a child of Saint-Maur. My decision has been taken since 2012. I was an MP for local reasons, linked to my predecessor. My opponents have always believed in a posture. But I have always said that if the law on the non-accumulation of mandates, which I voted, passed, I would stay in Saint-Maur. I reaffirmed it during the municipal elections. Respect for the commitment made is the hallmark of my team. It is an impassable line which facilitates decision and action.
If your choice had been made a long time ago, why did you wait?
I did not want basely political negotiations. Saint-Maur is not for sale. I was elected as a free man, without nomination. The Saint-Mauriens are particularly attached to this independence. I have waited a long time to be sure of who will succeed me. A local elected official in whom I have absolute confidence, who has an ethic but also a personal dimension that allows him to carry the voice of Saint-Maur, of the constituency.
So you have found …
Yes. I asked André Kaspi (Editor’s note: cultural assistant) to take over and he accepted. He worked with Jean Monnet, founding father of Europe, he is a historian, professor at the Sorbonne. It has an exceptional dimension and we have reciprocal trust. He was chairing my support committee when I introduced myself. I will do the same.
Don’t you regret leaving Parliament?
Until then, the absolute Grail for an elected official was to be a parliamentarian. My generation no longer thinks like that. There are several possible lives. And then, the National Assembly does not function properly. We do not write the law well, discussing texts at 4 am, in front of five deputies, it is surreal.
Yet did you enjoy being a parliamentarian?
I loved. I experienced very significant moments, the law on the end of life, marriage for all and surrogacy, I sat day and night. These minutes of silence after the attacks. Those moments when you go up to the platform, thinking of all those who have gone before us, Victor Hugo, Simone Veil, Robert Badinter. We say to ourselves that we are writing part of the history of France. It’s extraordinary. But I want to focus on writing the history of Saint-Maur.
Still have a lot to do in Saint-Maur?
In three years, we have rectified the finances, preserved the living environment with the PLU, adopted a multi-year investment plan until 2022. Within six to ten years, with the Grand Paris station, the ZAC des Facultés, swimming in the Marne, Saint-Maur will have regained its influence, without denying anything to its history, to its spirit. I will never give up on that for the Republic’s gold.