Islamist danger? Left-wing municipality withdraws its subsidies

At the heart of the dispute is a text evoking Islamism as a problem against which the Republic must fight.

After only a few months at the head of Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis), the Socialist Mayor Mathieu Hanotin has imposed his wishes: the Journal de Saint-Denis (JSD), which was created in 1992, will simply close down because the mayor has decided to withdraw its subsidies, explained Parisian daily Le Parisien.

The new mayor, who took over from a Communist municipality, announced during a meeting on December 17, that “the internal crisis at the Journal de Saint-Denis, which resulted in the director’s resignation, is the reason”. He explained that Yann Lalande, the editorial director, who had served for three years, had announced his departure on November 12.

Lalande had written in the weekly, after the shock wave generated by an editorial he wrote in the wake of the assassination of Samuel Paty in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, that Islamism was a “fascist” project that the Republic had to fight.

Some leftist journalists had expressed their strong disagreement with the text, and Yann Lalande resigned.

Le Parisien noted that the JSD had been “a rich local information source” but Mathieu Hanotin wanted to silence this newspaper. A former member of the council said that the new Socialist mayor wanted “to take back control of all means of communication”. It was an attack “against the plurality of expression,” he added.

The city councilor explained that “alternative solutions will be found to inform citizens of what is happening in their city”. Ten employees of the editorial staff has been left jobless.

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