Stop looking for the best mayor in the world: he is in Grigny (Essonne). In any case, this is the opinion of the City Mayors Foundation, which awarded him this honorary title for his work at the head of this city, the poorest in France according to the 2020 edition of the Observatory of Inequalities.

Awarded every two years, this prize is awarded based on the votes of Internet users around the world. In 2021 Philippe Rio therefore obtained the most votes, tied with Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam (Netherlands).

“The two cities are very different: one is home to the largest port in Europe, the other is a working-class city, part of the southern suburbs of Paris”, but continues Tann vom Hove, spokesperson for the City Mayors Foundation, the two mayors “defend common values”.

He explains: “The mayor of Rotterdam is a fervent defender of the principles of freedom, tolerance and solidarity enshrined in the Dutch constitution”. Philippe Rio, “has developed a positive but pragmatic vision in his fight against poverty and social exclusion. The mayor of Grigny believes that education is one of the surest ways out of poverty and that is what caught our attention ”.

This city of Essonne has nearly 30,000 inhabitants, 45% of whom live below the poverty line. Since the pandemic it is even rather 50%, according to Philippe Rio, also distinguished for his management of the pandemic.

Born and raised in Grigny, this 48-year-old Communist considers this prize “anecdotal, but joyfully anecdotal”, with France blue. Mayor of the city since 2012, he had not applied and said he was surprised by this distinction, which he decided to take as “an encouragement”.

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