Ambassador Yves Saint-Geours.
The Diplomat. Madrid
Yves Saint-Geours, current director general of the Administration and Modernization of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will be the next French Ambassador to Madrid replacing Jérôme Bonnafont, according to information provided to The Diplomat by spanish diplomatic sources.
Last week, the French Government sent Saint-Geours’s petition for placet and it is foreseeable that Madrid does not hinder this appointment. The new ambassador is passionate about Latin American history and culture –he was director of the Grand Palais museum between 2007 and 2009-. He was previously appointed French Ambassador to Sofia, where he experienced Bulgaria’s entry into the European Union.
His family lives in the French Basque Country and he spends his holiday in San Juan de Luz
Saint-Geours was leading the French Embassy in Brazil between 2009 and 2012, when he handed over the position to Bruno Delaye after the latter worked for several years as ambassador to Madrid. The family of the new ambassador lives in the French Basque Country and he usually spends his holiday in the border town of San Juan de Luz, so he knows the dossier of ETA terrorism.
Bonnafont, for his part, arrived in Spain in November 2012, which means he will probably spend less than three years in Madrid. The aforementioned sources interpret François Hollande’s decision to change the ambassador now as a movement from Paris facing the next general election and the start of a new session in Spain that will probably be more unstable than the current one.