He is still an opposition municipal councilor in Barcelona, but he is increasingly in Paris. Present at the event in tribute to Samuel Paty on Sunday Place de la République, he was at the Sorbonne on Wednesday for the ceremony chaired by Emmanuel Macron. For the former Prime Minister, the fight against Islamism is a priority. He repeated it on all the television sets he attended this week.
Manuel Valls’ omnipresence in the media has once again revived rumors of a return to France on both sides of the Pyrenees. “He will leave Barcelona next spring,” even wrote the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial, which claims that he has found his replacement to fill his vacant seat in town hall. “This is all ridiculous,” Valls answers. This article is full of mistakes. My commitment with Barcelona continues. “
“I am deeply French”
For the moment, a comeback in France is therefore not on the agenda, but the former mayor of Evry intends to participate, and even weigh, on the public debate in France. “Even if he denies it, he aspires to be in public action again, in the foreground. But I don’t think running for a job is what motivates him first. He knows the urgency of the moment, ”said an adviser in Matignon.
The Conflans attack only confirms his convictions. “When France is attacked, I have to react. I want to fight for my country. And his country, he has only one: it is France. A certainty which has paradoxically been reinforced since he joined Spain in September 2018. He spoke about it in these terms this summer, before the assassination of the history professor: “We can have different identities and dual nationality. but there is a strong identity which asserts itself. This is why I will always define myself as a republican and a Frenchman who loves his country. I believe that I am deeply French ”, he told us again last August.
A coffee with Schiappa, a lunch with Darmanin
Manuel Valls is not yet back but he is pleased to see that Emmanuel Macron is now in tune with him on questions of secularism. “His speech against separatism at Les Mureaux makes me say that he has come closer to my ideas. With the macronie, relations have warmed up significantly. To the point of being regular. Thursday, he was having a coffee near Place Beauvau with Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate for Citizenship. A lunch is planned with Gérald Darmanin. The ex and the current Minister of the Interior exchange regularly.
If he confides in being in direct contact with the president, Manuel Valls lets the mystery hang over his intentions. “I am not looking for a job. It is not on the agenda. But then we’ll see. For the majority, today it is useful where it is. “He relays messages on the sets that suit us well, he occupies the space and above all, does not leave it to others”, confides a ministerial adviser.
“He has strong but high-level positions, that of a statesman. It embodies a very clearly identified line. But fortunately he does not ask for a position because we do not have to offer him one, “adds with irony a framework of the majority. And this despite current rumors that imagine him taking the head of the National Observatory of Secularism today chaired by Jean-Louis Bianco, that some in the executive dream of seeing go. False, we assure the government.
“Politics is my life”
At 58, he certainly does not want to retire. “I am aware that pages have been turned but my experience is such that I feel the urge to intervene in the debate. Politics is my life, it’s my commitment. »Pick up? Surely not. “Politics is a professional thing! What has been going on for more than three years shows that we need experience and professionals, me or others, whatever. This summer, at the time of the reshuffle, he had distilled his advice within the executive. “He insisted on the need to have incarnation within the new team. It was understood with the arrival of Bachelot and Dupond-Moretti ”, confides an adviser to Edouard Philippe, the former Prime Minister.
If his future remains unclear, he does not see himself making a second political career in Spain and will not stand in the Catalan elections next February. Present at the various sessions of the Barcelona City Council, involved in certain local issues concerning town planning or the development of the city, Manuel Valls also recognizes that he has missed Paris lately. “I want to rebalance my life for personal reasons towards Paris. “
A city where his four children and his mother live, and where, according to La Vanguardia, a major Barcelona daily, he became the owner of an apartment with his wife Susana Gallardo. Between the two cities however, Manuel Valls assures refusing to choose. “I like this double commitment: in Barcelona as a municipal councilor and in Paris in the French political debate. Most likely it is for me to continue to lead this life on both fronts. “
Original article by : www.leparisien.fr