No, it was not the raft, of the Medusa, this boat… Forty years after the victory of François Mitterrand, on May 10, 1981, Mitterrandie sought on Sunday in Creusot (Saône-et-Loire) reasons to hope a return of the left to power, when only one in four voters plans to vote for it in 2022.

Former President François Hollande, former Prime Ministers Lionel Jospin and Bernard Cazeneuve, the mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, former ministers Pierre Joxe or Jean Glavany, and Gilbert Mitterrand (son of the former president) were notably present.

These “companions” on the road to Mitterrand, as Lionel Jospin described them, had made an appointment to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the election, but also an “emblematic figure who left us an immense legacy”, according to the authors. words of David Marti, mayor PS of Le Creusot.

Exhilaration and longing

Several round tables were organized, from which emerged a strong feeling of nostalgia. "François Mitterrand embodied a conception and a sense of the State which should serve as a lesson to us," said Cazeneuve. "He had a sense of friendship" and "loyalty", qualities that "we end up forgetting" today, in this period marked by "malice" and "forgetting the contributions" of "those who came before us ”.

Jean Glavany told how he had become Mitterrand's chief of staff, with the moments of “exaltation” of the first cohabitation, “a game of go or chess for which Mitterrand was a goldsmith”. Pierre Joxe explained that Mitterrand's “methodical work” to bring the left to power was “an interesting lesson for the future”. Lionel Jospin spoke to him about “the fruitful career of a great leader and a head of state” who “left the prime ministers to govern and respected the ministers”.

The former Prime Minister explained that he would not go at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron who wishes to bring together the former Elysee under François Mitterrand soon, because "in terms of the way in which is structured and acted power today, any reconciliation with what Mitterrand did can only result from a misunderstanding ”.

The strawberry rose party for 2022

The left in France is in bad shape, one year before the presidential election at which it risks leaving divided.

Public opinion, as elsewhere in Europe, is also more and more predominantly on the right, according to a survey published Tuesday by the Foundation for Political Innovation (Fondapol).

The former First Secretary of the PS Jean-Christophe Cambadélis (2014-2017), a distant successor to François Mitterrand, draws a gloomy report in the Journal du Dimanche. "The left is celebrating May 10 and the victory of François Mitterrand by being divided and without ideas" and "is preparing to make up the presidential election", he writes.

However, former President Hollande sees the memory of May 10, 1981 as an opportunity to take advantage of past “experiences”.

"The left was already divided in 1981 but there was this great Socialist Party", he recalled.

“You always need a force and an embodiment, a force that you have to imagine, organize, think.

There is one year left.

In one year, we must do what François Mitterrand took ten years to do ”, between the congress for the refoundation of the PS in Epinay in 1971 and victory in 1981.“ It is the acceleration of history ”, he quipped.

This meeting of Mitterrandie to commemorate the coming to power of Mitterrand was hardly appreciated by Paul Quilès, former PS minister absent from Le Creusot, who denounced in a press release "the weakness of the initiatives of the current leadership of the Socialist Party. to mark the event ”.


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  • Left

  • Anne Hidalgo

  • Francois Hollande

  • François Mitterrand

  • PS