Former longtime French senator passes away at 97

 September 26, 2023

According to France's ICI, former left-wing French Sen. Léon Fatous was found dead this weekend at the age of 97. 

The news service noted that Fatous served as mayor of Arras from 1975 to 1995 before becoming president of the Urban District from 1983 to 1995.

Current Arras mayor offers "most sincere condolences"

What's more, Fatous simultaneously held other offices, including that of European deputy between 1984 and 1989 as well as senator from 1992 to 2001.

Frédéric Leturque is Arras' current mayor and he issued statements on social media lamenting his predecessor's passing.

"I send my most sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Léon FATOUS who died today at the age of 97," Leturque wrote in a tweet on Sunday.

Leturque was a socialist who promoted the ice cream industry

Leturque also put up a Facebook post in which he characterized Fatous as being an "elected socialist" who "stayed true to his ideas and his political family."

Further, the mayor praised Fatous for having "contributed to the extensive development of social housing in Arras and in the district."

He also recalled how the late politician had played a role in wooing the Häagen-Dazs ice cream brand to set up shop in the area.

Leturque concluded by saying, "This is a local figure, who we will remember, who is leaving us and to whom we will pay a well deserved tribute."

Polls suggest France could see a right-wing breakthrough

French politics gained increased international attention this year when polls began to suggest that the right-wing candidate Marine Le Pen could be headed for a breakthrough in the country's 2027 presidential election.

A Bloomberg article published this past April reported that Le Pen was the candidate most likely to succeed current French President Emmanuel Macron.

That story came before violent riots plagued France earlier this year, a phenomenon which French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin warned could give Le Pen a shot at victory.

"Obviously, we cannot give Marine Le Pen an inexorable path to power," France 24 quoted Darmanin as saying at an event late last month.

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