The funeral of former socialist minister Michel Charasse took place Wednesday at the town hall of Puy-Guillaume (Puy-de-Dome), of which he was mayor 33 years, in the presence of Emmanuel Macron who greeted a “lover of the Republic”.
About 200 people, including many political figures, attended the ceremony in the town hall where the former minister’s coffin, topped with a wreath of red flowers, had been placed, in front of his portrait.
Outside, between sleet of snow and sunrays, nearly 500 people, mostly residents of Puy-Guillaume, followed the tribute broadcast on two giant screens.
“Michel, it was a French, Auvergne history, that of a child of the country, that of a mayor, an elected official, who never counted his time and his commitment”, declared Emmanuel Macron, who consulted him from time to time and visited him in October 2019 at the hospital where he was treated.
“The Republic, you knew it, you served it,” said Macron, greeting a “lover of the Republic” whose “battles were also often for the most deprived”.
The head of state returned to his “love of politics”, referring to “the man of (his) life”, Francois Mitterrand, whom he accompanied as “collaborator, confidant, minister” and “defended in beyond his disappearance “, into” tireless guardian of the temple “.
“The French loved in you the man who never forgot his roots, the man who spoke the flowery words of truth, the man who asserted a style, suspenders, cigars and here in Auvergne red sweater and velvet pants “, he said.
Supporting Daniele, the wife of the deceased, leaving the coffin, the President of the Republic was accompanied by the Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet and the Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly.
The President of the Senate Gerard Larcher, the President of the Constitutional Council Laurent Fabius, the former Socialist Prime Minister Lionel Jospin, the former Socialist President of the National Assembly Claude Bartolone as well as numerous elected representatives and parliamentarians also attended the ceremony.
Michel Charasse died at the age of 78 following a long illness on the night of Thursday to Friday at the Clermont-Ferrand hospital.
Known to have been very close to Francois Mitterrand and an atypical figure of the Socialist Party, he had been Minister of the Budget in the government of Michel Rocard in 1988 and had ended his career among the sages of the Constitutional Council, from 2010 to 2019.