Anne Hidalgo: First Woman Mayor of Paris Was Born in Spain

Image: Anne Hidalgo: First Woman Mayor of Paris Was Born in Spain Anne Hidalgo, right, and outgoing mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe.

Monday, 31 Mar 2014 09:08 AM

By Clyde Hughes

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Spanish-born socialist Anne Hidalgo was elected the first woman mayor of Paris on Sunday after serving as deputy to outgoing mayor Bertrand Delanoë.

Some of the country's political observers see the Paris mayor position as a launching pad for the French presidency, but added that Hidalgo's Socialist Party lost badly in other local elections around France, according to The Voice of America.

Hidalgo, 54, captured the mayor position on a platform of expanding public housing and making day care more affordable for Parisian families.

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Hidalgo captured 54.5 per cent of second round votes, outpointing former government minister Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who received 45.5 per cent, according to The Telegraph. Her former boss Delanoë ran the city for the past 12 years.

Hidalgo moved to France as an infant and grew up in suburban Lyon. She became a French citizen at 14, changing her first name from Ana to Anne.

Hidalgo became an adviser to former Labor minister Martine Aubry, the founder of France's 35-hour working week, after time as a works inspector.

The Telegraph said she became involved in the Socialist Party in her mid-30s when the party was run by Lionel Jospin.

The Associated Press wrote that before the election Hidalgo was involved in a north Paris park expansion, and a redevelopment effort to move much of the city's courthouse from the central Ile de la Cite island, which is flooded with visitors to Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle cathedrals, according to The Associated Press.

Hidalgo had announced that she wanted to extend a walkway along the banks of the Seine and the newly fashionable areas around the city's canal district.

Hidalgo said she did not want to change the Paris quality of life that allows many French workers to set aside a day for family and leisure.

France's more conservative anti-immigrant and anti-European Union National Front party dominated in other cities where the elections were considered a referendum on current French president Francois Hollande, according to the Voice of America. The VOA reported that voters responded to the country's sluggish economy and high unemployment.

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