The first deputy of Saint-Brevin-les-Pins, Dorothée Pacaud, was elected mayor of this town in Loire-Atlantique on Friday evening, June 9, following the resounding resignation of Yannick Morez, targeted by threats and violence of the far right because of the relocation of a reception center for asylum seekers (CADA). This 45-year-old teacher, without a label, becomes the first woman to head this seaside resort of 14,800 inhabitants.
The city council meeting, early Friday evening, was held in a somewhat tense atmosphere. A dozen young ultra-right activists presented themselves in front of the windows of the municipal council brandishing smoke bombs and shouting: "Yesterday Annecy, tomorrow Saint-Brevin", before being repelled by the gendarmes. These activists were not from the town, according to the police.
In front of the entrance to the municipal council, some residents opposed to the CADA distributed a leaflet signed by Bernard Germain, spokesperson for the Coordination Partout Callac, also referring to the tragedy in Annecy. Arrested by two anti-CADA residents after the city council, the mayor denounced a "scandalous amalgamation" with the tragedy of Annecy.
"I expected this introduction and I was prepared for it," Dorothée Pacaud, 45, told reporters, wearing her tricolor scarf. "However, I approach the next three years with great serenity," she added. I think my predecessor's word has been spoken loud and clear and I am hopeful of more support."
"Everything will calm down"
Former mayor (various right) Yannick Morez, target of threats, explained his choice to leave office after the "flagrant" lack of state support since the formalization, at the end of 2021, of the transfer of this center from reception near a school in his municipality. The attacks against him culminated in the early morning of March 22 with the burning of two vehicles belonging to him in front of his home, the facade of which was also affected by the flames while he slept there with his family.
During his hearing in the Senate on May 17, Mr. Morez pointed out that his deputies had also been victims of a smear campaign by the far right on the Internet.
Since the acceptance of the resignation of the mayor by the prefect, Dorothée Pacaud exercised the function of acting mayor. Mother of three children, never inserted in a party, this history and geography teacher in college was elected for the first time in Saint-Brevin in 2014. First in charge of the environment, she became first assistant in 2017. Until now, she was in charge of culture, heritage and twinning.
Dorothée Pacaud specified that the work of the CADA would continue and that it would open as planned at the end of the year. "I am convinced that once it is open, everything will calm down," commented Yannick Morez. "Since 2016 and the arrival of the first migrants, we have never had any problems in Saint-Brevin," he added.