Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Thousands defy Gaza demonstration ban in Paris

    Read more

  • Limited 12-hour humanitarian truce takes effect in Gaza

    Read more

  • US evacuates embassy in Libya amid militia clashes

    Read more

  • Kerry in Paris for new round of Gaza ceasefire talks

    Read more

  • Second black box found at Air Algérie crash site in Mali

    Read more

  • Nibali rides serenely toward a place in Tour history

    Read more

  • Video: 'Lack of security' at MH17 crash site, FRANCE 24 reports

    Read more

  • In pictures: Devastation, debris at Air Algérie crash site

    Read more

  • Washington Post reporter and his wife arrested in Iran

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Fans electrify the mood as Tour de France crosses the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

France

Spanish migrant Hidalgo becomes first woman mayor of Paris

© Photo: AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-04-05

Born in Spain and naturalised French at the age of 14, Anne Hidalgo has made history by becoming the first woman mayor of Paris, her new role confirmed on Saturday by a vote of city councillors.

The outcome of the city council's vote was a foregone conclusion because Hidalgo’s left-wing coalition won a majority of seats on the council during municipal elections held on March 30. The mayor of Paris is then chosen by council members in an electoral-college-style system.

Hidalgo, 54, won last Sunday's municipal election by a narrow margin and following an uninspiring campaign against right-wing rival Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet.

Her victory was nevertheless significant as it stood against the popular tide. Municipal elections nationwide saw massive gains for the conservative UMP party.

Political allies said they were not surprised that Hidalgo bucked the dominant trend to claim Paris's city hall, and that she began her path toward victory long ago and far away.

From Andalucía to Paris

Born in 1959 in southern Spain, Hidalgo came to France as a young child with her family, fleeing poverty and the regime of General Francisco Franco.

She grew up in an underprivileged neighbourhood of Lyon. After university studies in Lyon and Paris, she began her career as a civil servant in the labour inspection department in Paris in 1984.

A decade later, in 1994, she joined the Socialist Party and became a cabinet advisor to former prime minister Lionel Jospin, working especially on the issue of employment equality for women.

Starting in 2001, and up to her election, she served as deputy mayor of Paris under Bertrand Delanoe.

From the shadows to the spotlight

Critics have often dismissed Hidalgo as someone lacking the charisma needed to lead Paris, accusing her of simply surfing on Delanoe’s popularity to reach her position.

However, political allies are quick to hail her intrepid spirit and say she has all the qualities needed to head one of the world’s financial and cultural capitals.

“As soon as you know her you fall under her spell,” city councilman Jean-Luc Romero told FRANCE 24. “She's an intelligent woman, a woman who works extremely hard and who has an extraordinary capacity for leadership. She’s also very funny.”

Parisians will quickly be able to form their own opinion of Hidalgo as she steps into one of the most prominent roles in French politics. The woman who worked quietly in the shadow of Delanoe for 13 years is now at the forefront in the City of Light.

Date created : 2014-04-05

  • FRANCE

    Socialists set to keep Paris despite disappointing first poll

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Spain cheers as Spanish-born Valls and Hidalgo win French posts

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    A tale of two women: Paris set to get first female mayor

    Read more

COMMENT(S)