Unless the VOA is mistaken, Rennes lifted their public-swimming pools burkini ban a few years ago (seemingly in 2019) without causing much outcry.

A few years ago, local authorities quietly changed pool rules allowing all kinds of swimsuits, including burkinis. Initial controversy soon quieted down. Now, of the thousands swimming in Rennes public pools each year, local government says, just over a handful wear burkinis.

On the other hand, the central French government has deemed, in the words of the interior minister, the lifting of the ban by Grenoble an "unacceptable provocation" and hailed the top administrative court ruling against Grenoble as

"a victory for the law against separatism, for secularism and beyond that, for the whole republic," Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin wrote on Twitter.

Why explains this difference in reaction, if its real and VOA didn't miss something in 2019?

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    N.B. I see that before 2020 France had a different minister of the interior, so that might be an explanation... since the new one appears to be more of a hardliner against "islamic separatism" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Jun 22, 2022 at 9:09
  • I'm not enough of a French politics connaisseur to self-answer this, but it seems that the previous minister (Castaner) was considered "a sop to leftists", whereas I'm guessing the new one might be "a sop to rightists". Jun 22, 2022 at 9:34
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    "Why explains this difference in reaction..." Probably just an inconsistency or the decision in Rennes has not fully gone through the courts. To be honest, I didn't know of the lifting of the ban by Grenoble until a few days ago, when suddenly it made headlines in the news. The same could happen with Rennes. Media outcries are just so unpredictable these days. Almost a bit like random. Jun 22, 2022 at 9:34
  • the second one was done during an electoral campaign maybe it didn't have an impact but i won't bet on it Jun 22, 2022 at 10:29
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    (from the linked article) "Burkini bans in French public pools are different — they're based on hygiene grounds which also prohibit men's long swim trunks": I'd love to see a scientific study showing the impact of various types of swimming garments on pool water quality and on the health of pool users. More than that, I'd love to see which politicians would support a mandate to conduct such a study for the purpose of informing policy and legislation.
    – phoog
    Jun 22, 2022 at 11:52


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