Gérald Darmanin raises his voice. The Minister of the Interior on Tuesday described as “unacceptable community provocation” the authorization to wear the burkini in the municipal swimming pools of Grenoble. The municipal council of Grenoble, led by the environmental mayor Éric Piolle, validated Monday by a small majority a modification of the internal regulations of the swimming pools resulting in the authorization of the port of the burkini.
“Mr. Piolle, support of Mr. Mélenchon, plays the unacceptable community provocation, contrary to our values”, tweeted the Minister of the Interior of the resigning government. “I have instructed the prefect to refer to ‘secularism’ the deliberation allowing the wearing of the ‘Burkini’ and, if necessary, to request its withdrawal”, he added. The prefectoral referral falls within the framework of the control of the legality of the acts of the territorial collectivities.
The prefect of Isère had already indicated on Sunday evening, before the deliberation of the municipal council, that he would seize the administrative court of Grenoble to block the measure, on the instruction of Gérald Darmanin. To do this, he should appeal to a provision introduced by the law on separatism passed in August 2021, which concerns acts “seriously undermining the principle of secularism and neutrality of public service”.
Éric Piolle, who invoked a “feminist”, “health” and “secularism” fight, declared himself Monday “delighted that the government is attacking us”, noting that he had “not attacked Rennes” when this city had made a similar arrangement four years ago. The wearing of the burkini was claimed by the controversial association Citizen Alliance, which has organized since 2019 several punch operations in Grenoble swimming pools to get its message across. The president (LR) of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region Laurent Wauquiez accused Éric Piolle of “definitively recording his break with secularism and the values of our Republic” and announced that he was cutting the Region’s subsidies to the municipality.
Mr. Piolle, support of Mr. Melenchon, plays the unacceptable community provocation, contrary to our values. I instructed the prefect to refer the deliberation allowing the wearing of the “Burkini” to “secularism” and, if necessary, to request its withdrawal.