The mayor of a French town decided to approve legislation barring people from dying as a last-ditch attempt to solve an issue related to burial spaces.
Philippe Guérin was the mayor of Cugnaux, a town with around 20,000 residents located near Toulouse in south-western France, between 2001 and 2014.
During his mandate, the mayor wanted to solve the issue of the local cemetery running out of space by building a new burial ground on unused land attached to a local airfield.
But he claimed he could not get the decision approved by the local authority, despite the prefecture green-lighting the building of a supermarket in the same area.
Mr Guérin claimed his attempts to get in touch with the prefect and the interior ministry were unsuccessful.
READ MORE: Ex-Iceland PM sets out ‘simple’ solution to end Channel migrant crisis
Acknowledging his frustration, he said years later in an interview to the Guardian: “So we were a bit frustrated and we said, ‘OK, because it is absolutely stupid to authorise a supermarket but not a graveyard, we have to stop people dying’.”
More specifically, the legislature approved in November 2007 in Cugnaux prohibited any person who didn’t have a burial space already allocated in the existing cemetery from dying on the territory of the town.
Those found in breach of this measure, the legislature added, would be “severely punished”.
Panicked Germany forced to deny Scholz wants to ditch France partnership[INSIGHT]
Britain’s ‘prettiest autumn village’ celebrated for its ‘natural beauty’[PICTURES ]
‘Gorgeous’ UK destination named top hotspot for a winter staycation[REPORT]
French news outlet La Depeche reported Mr Guérin commenting at the time on his own legislation saying that “an absurd situation [required] an absurd response”.
Around the time the rule was approved by the city council, the French town only had a few dozen burial spaces left but was in need of many more, as Mr Guérin said Cugnaux reported an average of 60 deaths per year.
The real goal of the legislature – which was declared illegal soon after its approval – was naturally not to try and prevent deaths but simply to put the spotlight on the town and its pressing issue.
- Advert-free experience without interruptions.
- Rocket-fast speedy loading pages.
- Exclusive & Unlimited access to all our content.
Mr Guérin successfully attracted the attention of the national and international press after announcing that death had been barred in Cugnaux.
Speaking in 2015, he recalled: “We had press come from France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Belgium. I gave an interview to Japanese television.”
This sped up the process, the former mayor recalled, as three months he “received a letter from the prefect” who had authorised the cemetery”.
In 2013, La Depeche reported authorities in Toulouse had finally approved the launch of procedures aimed at building the new cemetery, coming at an estimated cost of £685,000.
Source: Read Full Article