Vassilis Venizelos is running for the Vaud Council of State. Unifier, this longtime deputy and municipal councilor calls for strong measures against global warming. But no question, for the elected environmentalist, to block a bridge with activists.
Born on April 7, 1977, Vassilis Venizelos is today an executive at the State of Geneva. He is number two in the town planning office, an entity with 85 employees.
The man grew up in a modest environment. His Greek father set down his suitcases in Switzerland in the 1960s. He came from a very poor peasant family, between Athens and Delphi. He worked in the hospitality industry and then as a precision worker and mechanic.
Her mother, hired as a nursing assistant, comes from the North of France. This woman “cultivated and passionate about Greece” will settle in Yverdon-les-Bains “out of love for a handsome Greek who had the face of Sean Connery”, tells Vassilis Venizelos.
Unsurprisingly, with this family history, the forty-something “feels European”. “I am a product of intra-European immigration,” he says. He “speaks badly” Greek, but “understands it very well”. The town planner is married and has two children aged 13 and 15.
Music and sport
Early on, the young Venizelos got involved in the associative, sporting and musical life of his town of Yverdon-les-Bains, which he has never left. He was singer, then bassist of Cinnamon Funky Market in the 90s, as can be seen from an archive video from local television channel NV, still visible on the Internet.
Sport is another of his passions. This tennis fan, who loves Federer as much as Tsitsipas, alternates between running and cycling. As a child, he assiduously practiced artistic gymnastics and then basketball, in the Vaudois selection. It was in this context that he rubbed shoulders with a Green municipal officer who offered to run for his first election to the Municipal Council, at the age of 19. He still sits there today.
The chosen one has come a long way. He joined the Grand Council in 2007, where he submitted nearly 80 parliamentary interventions and was group leader for ten years. Is it consensual? “When you have to be. You can’t do anything alone.” But he specifies that he “also knows how to bang his fist on the table”.
At the Grand Conseil, he passed a fund of 300 million for the energy transition, a postulate for gender-neutral toilets and a motion to promote alternatives to concrete. Each time, thanks to his “unifying skills” which “make it possible to build majorities”, he observes.
More recently, he proposed to create a Citizens’ Assembly by lot. It would be responsible for examining the Vaudois Climate Plan.
The environmentalist, however, does not see himself blocking a street or a bridge with climate activists. At least not while he has a political mandate. “I chose the institutional path,” he explains.
He recognizes that civil disobedience can advance a cause. “It is commendable as long as it remains non-violent.” The two approaches are complementary, he adds.
This article was published automatically. Source: ats