Former socialist minister Louis Le Pensec, several times minister under the presidency of François Mitterrand, has died at the age of 87, the first secretary of the Socialist Party, Olivier Faure, announced on Wednesday January 10.

“Louis Le Pensec has just left us. A man with granite convictions, a clear and frank outlook, an activist minister, he was a pillar of the socialist governments under François Mitterrand”, writes Olivier Faure, paying tribute to a “man of dialogue”, who was “negotiator with Michel Rocard » of the Matignon agreements on New Caledonia, after several years of deadly violence in the archipelago.

Born on January 8, 1937 in Mellac (Finistère), a rural commune of which he was mayor for more than 26 years, Louis Le Pensec was notably the first “minister of the sea” in June 1981. But he “bowed out”, according to his own expression, when in 1983 François Mitterrand decided to reduce the maritime affairs portfolio to the level of state secretariat.

When the Socialists returned to power in May 1988, Louis Le Pensec became Minister of the Sea again for a few months, before being entrusted with the French Overseas Territories by Prime Minister Michel Rocard. A position he held until the rout of the Socialists in March 1993. He then served as Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries from 1997 to 1998, in the government of Lionel Jospin.

Louis Le Pensec was a deputy for Finistère several times from 1973 to 1997, then senator from 1998 to 2008.

The seventh in a family of eight children, Louis Le Pensec was the first to study. Initially a teacher, he returned to his studies and obtained a degree in letters (sociology) and political economy. He obtained diplomas from the Institute of Social Sciences of Labor and Business Administration before joining SNECMA (aeronautics industry) then SAVIEM (automobile).

This tall man (1m90) was nicknamed “Great Louis”, recalled the president of the Brittany region Loïg Chesnais-Girard (ex-PS), in a press release. “Louis Le Pensec was one of those men who commanded respect and also posed as models (…) We all owe him something and his journey must continue to inspire us.”

“I knew “the great Louis” at the Ministry of Agriculture, he maintained rigor, respect and loyalty to his origins and the values ​​of the Republic all his life,” the former minister reacted on X socialist of agriculture, Stéphane Le Foll. The first secretary of the Finistère PS and vice-president of Brest metropolis Tristan Foveau hailed “a tutelary figure”, “one of the builders of Breton socialism”.