PARIS – The French Socialist Party (PS) announced that it has decided to sell its historic headquarters in Paris for 45.5 million euros ($53.9 million) amid financial difficulties that have followed several devastating electoral defeats.
The building on Paris’ central Rue de Solferino had served as the party’s headquarters since 1980, the year before François Mitterand’s election to the presidency saw the Socialists in power for the first time.
“The Socialist Party has decided, during its national office meeting on Sept. 19, to sell its current national headquarters,” the party said in a statement released late Tuesday.
The red party banner is to hang outside the building until Sept. 30, 2018, when the PS will no longer have access to the offices, though the definitive sale is to be signed at the end of February at the latest.
The PS had been going through financial difficulties following catastrophic results in this year’s presidential and electoral elections.
The Socialists failed to enter the second round of the April 23 presidential vote as their candidate, Benoit Hamon, won just 6.4 percent of the vote, not nearly enough to break into the second round of the election.
In the 2012 elections, François Hollande won the presidency after receiving 28.6 percent of the vote in the first round and 51.6 percent in the second round.
Last September’s legislative elections saw the PS’ parliamentary group lose 286 seats, dropping from 331 to just 45.