Saturday June 10, Cran-Gevrier (Haute-Savoie). Two days after the knife attack in a square which left six injured and upset France, François Astorg, 62, mayor of Annecy, attends a velocross competition. White shirt, beige pants and suede shoes, the chosen one (ex-EELV) listens to the president of the BMX club tell his worries, while the sound system comments on the frantic race of the children, under a scorching sun.
“Life has to take over. I want contact with the population, precisely at this time,” assures François Astorg, lifting his sunglasses. After forty-eight hours of crisis management, after the visit of the Minister of the Interior, followed by that of the President, Emmanuel Macron, and his wife, the mayor seems to come out of an emotional tunnel, distributing smiles and hugs.
Late Thursday morning, his chief of staff received a panicked call from a friend who had just seen the attack perpetrated by a Syrian asylum seeker on the Pâquier esplanade. The mayor is on site within a minute. Six injured, including four children. The scene seems unreal, facing the lake and the alpine mountains.
“To attack children is obviously the most cowardly thing. It is to attack innocence, the most vulnerable among us, those whom society must protect with all its might,” underlined François Astorg in his speech, the following day, during a sober ceremony. The amazement passed, the mayor felt invested. “We are responding to something that goes beyond ourselves and politics”, he says, adding: “The function transcends the person. »
“Life has reframed me”
Resilience, the man knows. Born in Seine-Saint-de-Denis, to a Franco-Senegalese stay-at-home mother and a real estate agent father, François Astorg spent his adolescence in a suburban house, in hyperactive mode. Sport, skateboarding, shortened studies, entertainment at Club Med, travel. At 18, in sailing school, he follows, as an observer on a sailboat, the race of Dawn, the ancestor of Figaro, and crosses the Fastnet Race (1979 edition). He survived a terrible storm off Ireland, which killed a total of nineteen people.
The same year, he survived a road accident, after hitting a pole at 110 kilometers per hour. “Life has reframed me”, he said. In 1988, a ruptured aneurysm made him hemiplegic. Operation at Pitié-Salpêtrière, a year of rehabilitation to regain his abilities, except those of his left leg. He gets up again, does odd jobs, follows a one-year course, earns a diploma in communication and management.
You have 50.02% .. “”.