Nicolas Sarkozy
23rd President of France from 16 May 2007 to 15 May 2012
Nicolas Sarkozy
Nicolas Sarkozy is a French politician who served as the 23rd President of the French Republic from 16 May 2007 until 15 May 2012. Before his presidency, he was leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).
Biography
Nicolas Sarkozy's personal information overview.
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News
News abour Nicolas Sarkozy from around the web
Weekend Roundup: Europe May Break The Brexit-Trump Momentum This Year
Huffington Post - 1 day
After Brexit and the victory of U.S. President Donald Trump, the widespread expectation is that continental Europe will follow suit and bring populists into power in upcoming elections there this year. Yet one repercussion of the early days of the Trump presidency is that Europeans can now see clearly the kind of ugly incivility, volatility and chaos that will result if they go down that path. The memory of Europeans also remains closer to the devastation their continent experienced in the 20th century as a result of ultra-nationalism. You can’t step into the now meticulously reconstructed Frauenkirche in Dresden – only completed in 2005 ― without recalling the World War II destruction of that magnificent city. Despite distaste for the Brussels bureaucracy and messy politics of the European Union, what former French President François Mitterrand once said still resonates with most Europeans: “Nationalism means war.”   Pierpaolo Barbieri writes this week that elections or govern ...
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Huffington Post article
Rebel tells France's Fillon that voters are deserting
Yahoo News - 4 days
By Simon Carraud and Andrew Callus PARIS (Reuters) - Scandal-hit French presidential candidate Francois Fillon came under renewed attack from within his own conservative camp on Wednesday as he sought to hold his campaign together through talks with ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy. Rebel conservative lawmaker Georges Fenech said voters were deserting their party, The Republicans, and it faced defeat in the April-May election unless it ditched Fillon. Fenech has been one of the strongest anti-Fillon voices since the former prime minister's campaign was knocked off track by a scandal over his use of public funds to employ his wife as a parliamentary assistant.
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Yahoo News article
Weekend Roundup: Disarming America’s Soft Power
Huffington Post - 9 days
Presidential historian Daniel Franklin writes this week that U.S. President Donald Trump could be a once-in-an-era “reconstructive president” in the mold of Andrew Jackson, FDR and Ronald Reagan. Like those former leaders, says Franklin, he has upended the status quo by realigning partisan constituencies and departing entirely from the previous governing consensus, a shift that can be progressive or regressive. More than just having won an election, Trump is out to effect a “regime change” that will be in place for a long time to come. “There is a very good possibility that Trump will succeed,” Franklin writes. “It is hard to fight a reconstructive president. By and large Americans want to be led. My own research suggests that there is a bias in our minds towards bold leadership, no matter where it takes us. Furthermore, there is plenty of evidence to suggest that with human beings the facts bend to perception rather than the other way around.” Writing from Santiago, Chile, And ...
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Huffington Post article
Nicolas Sarkozy to Stand Trial Over Campaign Financing
Wall Street Journal - 11 days
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been ordered to stand trial for allegedly breaking campaign financing rules in his failed bid for reelection in 2012, a judicial official said.
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Wall Street Journal article
Nicolas Sarkozy Ordered to Stand Trial Over Campaign Finances
New York Times - 12 days
The former president, accused of spending more than the legal limit on his 2012 campaign, was expected to appeal.
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New York Times article
Weekend Roundup: When Leaders Disinhibit Acting Out Hate
Huffington Post - 16 days
Is an executive order in a secular state like a fatwa in an Islamic theocracy? Of course it is not in the sense that a fatwa, or clerical decree on a given subject, is the last word while a directive from the top in a secular democracy is only the first word. It must stand up to the laws and the Constitution, not to speak of citizen protests. But in the larger sense, if recognized authorities legitimate fear of others unlike them, might the extremist fringe regard such official guidance as the psychological permission to act? Canada’s famous philosopher of secularism and religion, Charles Taylor, approaches the thought in an interview about the attack on a Quebec City mosque earlier this week that killed six people. An ultranationalist is suspected of carrying out that shooting. “Whenever political leaders propose to limit the rights of Muslims,” says Taylor, “they encourage Islamophobic sentiment and disinhibit hostile acts. If highly respected leaders share that hostility, why s ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Inauguration Into The Unknown
Huffington Post - 30 days
This week a whole nation was inaugurated into the unknown. We don’t know what Donald Trump will do once in the White House. But we do know how he got there. Everyone of good faith must hope that the new president will succeed in his promised aim of lifting up the left behind, which the political establishment he ousted could not do. Yet, anyone with the slightest sense of history must also worry how his path to power will define what he does with it. The debasement of the democratic discourse introduced during Trump’s election campaign and since has already inflicted damage that cannot be easily undone. The level of xenophobic demonization of the world outside and enemies within, like his impulsive invective unleashed against even marginal critics, has been unprecedented for any presidential candidate in memory. Perhaps most dangerously, his effort to delegitimize any media, and even denigrate official intelligence agencies, that won’t play along with his fast and loose use of fac ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Davos Elites Look To China’s Global Role As America Steps Back
Huffington Post - about 1 month
A new rift in world affairs appears to be opening up: a division between pro-globalization Asia, with China in the lead, and the transatlantic nations that have turned against globalization. “President Xi’s appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos next week,” I write in a blog post this week, “comes at both an auspicious and inauspicious moment. It is an auspicious moment because President-elect Donald Trump has all but announced America’s withdrawal from the world it has largely made over recent decades — and from which Asia has most benefited.” Since Europe has become inwardly absorbed with anxieties over terror attacks, immigration and failed integration, I continue, “that leaves China as the one major power with a global outlook. Ready or not, China has become the de facto world leader seeking to maintain an open global economy and battle climate change. In effect, President Xi has become the ‘core leader’ of globalization.” “The inauspicious aspect is the reverse,” ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: America’s Crisis Of Social Intelligence
Huffington Post - about 1 month
If the recent U.S. presidential election campaign was about defining American reality, little has been decided. The ongoing inability to arrive at a shared worldview or even to agree on basic facts, abetted by a media that thrives on adversity to monetize attention, is deadly for the discourse in any democracy. This crisis of social intelligence in which the perception of reality is unmoored from objective observation is even more consequential than the highly damaging quarrel between the official U.S. intelligence agencies and President-elect Donald Trump over Russian influence meddling. But the two are linked. None of the intelligence professionals I know would ever consider themselves infallible. Yet they do strive mightily to establish the facts and resist partisan pressures to slant their findings. Professional intelligence analysis seeks to root out false signals, disinformation, unfounded rumor and subjective opinion. It is, in effect, the opposite of peer-driven social ...
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Huffington Post article
Year-End Roundup: In 2016, The World Passed The Tipping Point Into A Perilous New Era
Huffington Post - about 2 months
In the 2015 WorldPost Year-End Roundup, we observed that we were then “on the cusp of a tipping point” in the race between a world coming together and one falling apart. In 2016, we have indeed tipped over into a new era. The profound upheavals of this year were anticipated in an essay we published in March titled “Why the World Is Falling Apart.” In that piece I wrote, “The fearful and fearsome reaction against growing inequality, social dislocation and loss of identity in the midst of vast wealth creation, unprecedented mobility and ubiquitous connectivity, is a mutiny, really, against globalization so audacious and technological change so rapid that it can barely be absorbed by our incremental nature. In this accelerated era,” I continued, “future shock can feel like repeated blows in the living present to individuals, families and communities alike.” Revolt Against Global Elites  Economics and technology forged the worldwide converge ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: The Berlin Attack Has Sealed The Political Fate Of Europe
Huffington Post - about 2 months
Europe was already reeling from major terror attacks in Brussels, Paris and Nice as well as Brexit and the defeat of the political establishment in the Italian referendum before this week. With anti-immigrant parties standing ambitiously in the wings waiting for events to further boost them into power, the worst thing that could have happened, the shoe waiting to drop, was a terror attack at Christmas time in Germany by an asylum-seeker linked to Islamist terror groups. It is just that which took place in Berlin this week.  That the inevitable has now occurred likely seals the political fate of Europe. Public opinion will surely turn decisively against the open-arms refugee policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel — the most prominent defender of the troubled European project of integration and the free movement of people. Merkel’s coalition partner (yet mainstream opponent) Horst Seehofer of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, has already laid down the challenge. “We owe it to ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: Russian Intrusion in the U.S. Election Signals a New 'Code War'
Huffington Post - 2 months
Russian hackers have been implicated by the CIA and FBI in an audacious effort to sway voters in the recent U.S. presidential election in the direction of Donald Trump. Like other key events in U.S. history, such as Pearl Harbor or 9/11, the revelation of the Russian cyber intrusion is a wake-up call. It signals that a new “code war” is underway through the weaponization of information.  The irony can’t be missed, of course, that the CIA, which itself sought to influence democratic elections around the world from the earliest days of the Cold War, is calling out the Russians. Former CIA director Bill Colby once regaled me with tales of his years as a young operative in Italy, paying off journalists and channeling laundered funds to the Christian Democrats in elections during the 1950s to (successfully) defeat the Communists at the polls. The CIA also clandestinely funded the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan to oppose leftist forces there during that same era. It also intervened t ...
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Huffington Post article
Weekend Roundup: How Social Media Splits the Global Conversation
Huffington Post - 2 months
Every year The WorldPost joins with MIT collective intelligence research scientist Peter Gloor and the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Zurich to measure the most influential thought leaders and the top platforms for the exchange of ideas in the global digital realm. The latest results are reported in the 2016 Global Thought Leaders Index, which examines the English, Spanish, German, Chinese and Arabic language areas on the web. You can find the methodology here.  As the map below of the globally-dominant English language web shows, The WorldPost/Huffington Post is the most prominent idea-spreading digital platform along with The New York Times outside of social media, which is dominated by Facebook and Twitter.  What this year’s analysis also reveals, as I write in my summary of the key findings, is that, “the passionate political environment of 2016 appears to have marked a tipping point … where the influence of individuals sharing information on social media surpassed that ...
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Huffington Post article
Timeline
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Nicolas Sarkozy
    LATE_ADULTHOOD
  • 2016
    Age 61
    In April 2016, Arnaud Claude, former law partner of Sarkozy, has been named in the Panama Papers.
    More Details Hide Details Governmental functions Electoral mandates European Parliament National Assembly of France Regional Council General Council Municipal Council Political functions
    On 16 February 2016, Sarkozy was indicted on "illegal financing of political campaign" charges related to overspending in his 2012 presidential campaign and retained as witness in connection with the Bygmalion scandal.
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    In August 2016, he announced his candidacy for The Republicans primary.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy was named the 68th best-dressed person in the world by Vanity Fair, alongside David Beckham and Brad Pitt. However, Sarkozy has also been named as the third worst-dressed person in the world by GQ, a listing that has been disputed. Beside publicizing, at times, and at others, refusing to publicise his ex-wife Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz's image, Sarkozy takes care of his own personal image, sometimes to the point of censorship—such as in the Paris Match affair, when he allegedly forced its director to resign following an article on his ex-wife and her affair with Publicis executive Richard Attias, or pressures exercised on the Journal du dimanche, which was preparing to publish an article concerning Ciganer-Albéniz's decision not to vote in the second round of the 2007 presidential election. In its 9 August 2007 edition, Paris Match retouched a photo of Sarkozy in order to erase a love handle. His official portrait destined for all French town halls was done by Sipa Press photographer Philippe Warrin, better known for his paparazzi work.
    In January 2016, Sarkozy published the book La France pour la vie.
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  • FIFTIES
  • 2015
    Age 60
    Led by Sarkozy, UMP won over two-thirds of the 102 local departements in the nationwide elections on March 29, 2015.
    More Details Hide Details On December 13, the Republicans won the majority of regional office races, another set of national elections. (On May 30 the UMP's name was changed to the Republicans.)
  • 2014
    Age 59
    On 19 September 2014, Sarkozy announced that he was returning to politics and would run for chairman of the UMP party. and was elected to the post on 29 November 2014.
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    After leaving the Presidential office, Sarkozy vowed to retire from public life before coming back in September 2014, being subsenquently reelected as UMP leader (renamed The Republicans in 2015).
    More Details Hide Details On 2 July 2014, Sarkozy was charged with corruption by French prosecutors. Sarkozy is the son of Pál István Ernő Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa (in some sources Nagy-Bócsay Sárközy Pál István Ernő), a Hungarian aristocrat, and Andrée Jeanne "Dadu" Mallah (b. Paris, 12 October 1925), whose Greek Jewish father converted to Catholicism to marry Sarkozy's French Catholic maternal grandmother.
  • 2012
    Age 57
    On 3 July 2012, French police raided Sarkozy's residence and office as part of a probe into claims that Sarkozy was involved in illegal political campaign financing. On 5 July 2010, following its investigations on the Bettencourt affair, online newspaper Mediapart ran an article in which Claire Thibout, a former accountant of billionairess Liliane Bettencourt, accused Sarkozy and Eric Woerth of receiving illegal campaign donations in 2007, in cash.
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    After his defeat at the 2012 election, Nicolas Sarkozy asked his followers to respect Hollande's victory.
    More Details Hide Details He invited his successor to attend his last 8 May Victory in Europe Day commemoration in office. His last day as President of the French Republic was 15 May.
    Sarkozy was one of ten candidates who qualified for the first round of voting. François Hollande, the Socialist Party candidate, received the most votes in the first round held on 22 April election, with Sarkozy coming second, meaning that both progressed to the second round of voting on 5–6 May 2012.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy lost in the runoff and conceded to Hollande. He received an estimated 48.38% compared to Hollande's 51.62%.
  • 2011
    Age 56
    It is believed to be the first time a former French president has been held in police custody, although his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, was found guilty of embezzlement and breach of trust while he was mayor of Paris and given a suspended prison sentence in 2011.
    More Details Hide Details After 15 hours in police custody, Sarkozy was put under official investigation for "active corruption", "misuse of influence" and "obtained through a breach of professional secrecy" on 2 July 2014. Mr Azibert and Sarkozy's lawyer, Thierry Herzog, are also now under official investigation. The two accusations carry sentences of up to 10 years in prison. The developments are seen as a blow to Sarkozy's attempts to challenge for the presidency in 2017.
    Saif-al-Islam Gaddafi claimed in March 2011 that his father's regime had financed Sarkozy's 2007 presidential campaign, claims which Sarkozy denied but were repeated by former Libyan prime minister Baghdadi Mahmudi in October 2011.
    More Details Hide Details Investigative website Mediapart subsequently published several documents appearing to prove a payment of €50 million. A judicial investigation against persons unidentified was initiated in April 2013 in Paris.
    On 19 March 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy officially announced the beginning of a military intervention in Libya, with France's participation.
    More Details Hide Details These actions of Nicolas Sarkozy were favorably received by the majority of the French political class and public opinion.
    On 10 March 2011, Nicolas Sarkozy welcomed to the Elysee Palace, three emissaries from the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC), brought to him by Bernard-Henri Levy who mediated at the meeting.
    More Details Hide Details Nicolas Sarkozy promised them a no-fly zone would be imposed on Gaddafi's aeroplanes. He also promised them French military assistance. On 17 March 2011, at the behest of France, resolution 1973 was adopted by the Security Council of the United Nations, permitting the creation of a "no fly" zone over Libya, and for the undertaking of "necessary measures" for the protection of the country's civilian population.
    In March 2011, after having been criticized for his unwillingness to support the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions, and persuaded by the philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy to have France actively engage against the forces of the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, Nicolas Sarkozy was amongst the first Heads of State to demand the resignation of Gaddafi and his government, which was then fighting a civil war in Libya.
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  • 2009
    Age 54
    On 3 April 2009, at the NATO Summit in Strasbourg, Sarkozy announced that France would offer asylum to a former Guantanamo captive. "We are on the path to failure if we continue to act as we have", French President Nicolas Sarkozy cautioned at the U.N. Climate Summit on 22 September 2009.
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    On 5 January 2009, Sarkozy called for a ceasefire plan for the Gaza Strip Conflict.
    More Details Hide Details The plan, which was jointly proposed by Sarkozy and Egyptian ex-President Hosni Mubarak envisions the continuation of the delivery of aid to Gaza and talks with Israel on border security, a key issue for Israel as it says Hamas smuggles its rockets into Gaza through the Egyptian border. Welcoming the proposal, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for a "ceasefire that can endure and that can bring real security".
  • 2008
    Age 53
    In October 2008, Sarkozy became the first French President to address the National Assembly of Quebec.
    More Details Hide Details In his speech he spoke out against Quebec separatism, but recognized Quebec as a nation within Canada. He said that, to France, Canada was a friend, and Quebec was family.
    However, as a result of the global financial crisis that came to a head in September 2008, Sarkozy has returned to the state interventionism of his predecessors, declaring that "laissez-faire capitalism is over" and denouncing the "dictatorship of the market".
    More Details Hide Details Confronted with the suggestion that he had become a socialist, he responded: "Have I become socialist? Perhaps." He has also pledged to create 100,000 state-subsidised jobs. This reversion to dirigisme is seen as an attempt to stem the growing popularity of revolutionary socialist leader Olivier Besancenot.
    On 6 December 2008, Nicolas Sarkozy, as part of France's then presidency of the Council of the EU, met the Dalai Lama in Poland and outraged China, which has announced that it would postpone the China-EU summit indefinitely.
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    Sarkozy wielded special international power when France held the rotating EU Council Presidency from July 2008 through December 2008.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy has publicly stated his intention to attain EU approval of a progressive energy package before the end of his EU Presidency. This energy package would clearly define climate change objectives for the EU and hold members to specific reductions in emissions. In further support of his collaborative outlook on climate change, Sarkozy has led the EU into a partnership with China.
    On 21 July 2008, the French parliament passed constitutional reforms which Sarkozy had made one of the key pledges of his presidential campaign.
    More Details Hide Details The vote was 539 to 357, one vote over the three-fifths majority required; the changes are not yet finalized. They would introduce a two-term limit for the presidency, and end the president's right of collective pardon. They would allow the president to address parliament in-session, and parliament, to set its own agenda. They would give parliament a veto over some presidential appointments, while ending government control over parliament's committee system. He has claimed that these reforms strengthen parliament, while some opposition socialist lawmakers have described it as a "consolidation of a monocracy".
    He married Italian-French singer-songwriter Carla Bruni on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
    More Details Hide Details In foreign affairs, Sarkozy promised a strengthening of the entente cordiale with the United Kingdom and closer cooperation with the United States. In the 2012 election, the Socialist François Hollande defeated Sarkozy by a margin of 3.2 percentage points (or 1,139,983 votes).
  • 2007
    Age 52
    A few weeks before the first round of the 2007 presidential elections, Sarkozy had an interview with philosopher Michel Onfray.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy stated that disorders such as paedophilia and depression have a genetic as well as social basis, saying "... I'd be inclined to think that one is born a paedophile, and it is actually a problem that we do not know how to cure this disease"; he claimed that suicides among youth were linked to genetic predispositions by stating, "I don't want to give parents a complex. It's not exclusively the parents' fault every time a youngster commits suicide." These statements were criticised by some scientists, including geneticist Axel Kahn. Sarkozy later added, "What part is innate and what part is acquired? At least let's debate it, let's not close the door to all debate." On 27 July 2007, Sarkozy delivered a speech in Dakar, Senegal, written by Henri Guaino, in which he claimed that "the African has never really entered into history". The controversial remarks were widely condemned by Africans, with some viewing them as racist.South African president Thabo Mbeki praised Sarkozy's speech, which raised criticism by some in the South African media.
    Sarkozy was nicknamed as Hyper-president or hyperpresident by some French media after his 2007 election as President.
    More Details Hide Details It is a portmanteau of hyper and president to insist on the desire of Sarkozy to control everything. Whereas in the history of the Fifth Republic, the successive presidents were traditionally focused on the foreign policy of the country and on international relations, leaving the Prime Minister and the government to determine the domestic policy, as the Constitution states it, Nicolas Sarkozy appeared to determine both the foreign and domestic policy. As soon as the beginning of his presidency, Nicolas Sarkozy was compared to Napoléon Bonaparte and Louis XIV. Indeed, he appointed a very close friend of his, François Fillon, as a Prime Minister. François Fillon was accused of being an instrument of the President's power. The biopic The Conquest is a 2011 film that dramatises Sarkozy's rise to power, with candid portrayals of Sarkozy himself, Chirac and Villepin. It was shown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.
    Muammar Gaddafi's official visit to Nicolas Sarkozy in December 2007 has triggered a strong wave of protests against the President in France.
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    Sarkozy and Cécilia ultimately divorced on 15 October 2007, soon after his election as President. Less than a month after separating from Cécilia, Sarkozy met Italian-born singer, songwriter and former fashion model Carla Bruni at a dinner party, and soon entered a relationship with her. They married on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
    More Details Hide Details The couple have a daughter, Giulia, born on 19 October 2011. It was the first time a French president has publicly had a child while in office. Sarkozy declared to the Constitutional Council a net worth of €2 million, most of the assets being in the form of life insurance policies. As the French President, one of his first actions was to give himself a pay raise: his yearly salary went from €101,000 to €240,000 (to match his European/French peers). He is also entitled to a mayoral pension as a former mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. Sarkozy is recognized by French parties on both the Right and Left as a skilled politician and striking orator. His supporters within France emphasize his charisma, political innovation and willingness to "make a dramatic break" amid mounting disaffection against "politics as usual". Overall, he is considered more pro-American and pro-Israeli than most French politicians.
    Sarkozy's government issued a decree on 7 August 2007 to generalise a voluntary biometric profiling program of travellers in airports.
    More Details Hide Details The program, called 'Parafes', was to use fingerprints. The new database would be interconnected with the Schengen Information System (SIS) as well as with a national database of wanted persons (FPR). The Commission nationale de l'informatique et des libertés (CNIL) protested against this new decree, opposing itself to the recording of fingerprints and to the interconnection between the SIS and the FPR.
    The Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), Sarkozy's party, won a majority at the June 2007 legislative election, although by less than expected.
    More Details Hide Details In July, the UMP majority, seconded by the Nouveau Centre, ratified one of Sarkozy's electoral promises, which was to partially revoke the inheritance tax. The inheritance tax formerly brought eight billion euros into state coffers. Sarkozy's UMP majority prepared a budget that reduced taxes, in particular for upper middle-class people, allegedly in an effort to boost GDP growth, but did not reduce state expenditures. He was criticised by the European Commission for doing so. On 23 July 2008, parliament voted the "loi de modernisation de l'économie" (Modernization of the Economy Law) which loosened restrictions on retail prices and reduced limitations on the creation of businesses. The Government has also made changes to long-standing French work-hour regulations, allowing employers to negotiate overtime with employees and making all hours worked past the traditional French 35-hour week tax-free.
    On 8 June 2007, during the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Sarkozy set a goal of reducing French CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2050 in order to prevent global warming.
    More Details Hide Details He then pushed forward Socialist Dominique Strauss-Kahn as European nominee to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Critics alleged that Sarkozy proposed to nominate Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the IMF to deprive the Socialist Party of one of its more popular figures. In 2010, a study of:Yale and Columbia universities ranked France the most respectful country of the G20 concerning the environment.
    Furthermore, he announced on 24 July 2007, that French and European representatives had obtained the extradition of the Bulgarian nurses detained in Libya to their country.
    More Details Hide Details In exchange, he signed with Muammar Gaddafi security, health care and immigration pacts—and a $230 million (168 million euros) MILAN antitank missile sale. The contract was the first made by Libya since 2004, and was negotiated with MBDA, a subsidiary of EADS. Another 128 million euro contract would have been signed, according to Tripoli, with EADS for a TETRA radio system. The Socialist Party (PS) and the Communist Party (PCF) criticised a "state affair" and a "barter" with a "Rogue state". The leader of the PS, François Hollande, requested the opening of a parliamentary investigation.
    On 6 May 2007, Nicolas Sarkozy became the sixth person to be elected President of the fifth Republic (which was established in 1958), and the 23rd president in French history.
    More Details Hide Details The official transfer of power from Chirac to Sarkozy took place on 16 May at 11:00 am (9:00 UTC) at the Élysée Palace, where he was given the authorization codes of the French nuclear arsenal. In the afternoon, the new President flew to Berlin to meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Under Sarkozy's government, François Fillon replaced Dominique de Villepin as Prime Minister. Sarkozy appointed Bernard Kouchner, the left-wing founder of Médecins Sans Frontières, as his foreign minister, leading to Kouchner's expulsion from the Socialist Party. In addition to Kouchner, three more Sarkozy ministers are from the left, including Eric Besson, who served as Ségolène Royal's economic adviser at the beginning of her campaign. Sarkozy also appointed seven women to form a total cabinet of 15; one, Justice Minister Rachida Dati, is the first woman of Northern African origin to serve in a French cabinet. Of the 15, two attended the elite École nationale d'administration (ENA). The ministers were reorganised, with the controversial creation of a 'Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National Identity and Co-Development'—given to his right-hand man Brice Hortefeux—and of a 'Ministry of Budget, Public Accounts and Civil Administration'—handed out to Éric Wœrth, supposed to prepare the replacement of only a third of all civil servants who retire. However, after the 17 June parliamentary elections, the Cabinet has been adjusted to 15 ministers and 16 deputy ministers, totalling 31 officials.
    The first round of the presidential election was held on 22 April 2007.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy came in first with 31.18 percent of the votes, ahead of Ségolène Royal of the Socialists with 25.87 percent. In the second round, Sarkozy came out on top to win the election with 53.06 percent of the votes ahead of Ségolène Royal with 46.94 percent. In his speech immediately following the announcement of the election results, Sarkozy stressed the need for France's modernisation, but also called for national unity, mentioning that Royal was in his thoughts. In that speech, he claimed "The French have chosen to break with the ideas, habits and behaviour of the past. I will restore the value of work, authority, merit and respect for the nation."
    In February 2007, Sarkozy appeared on a televised debate on TF1 where he expressed his support for affirmative action and the freedom to work overtime.
    More Details Hide Details Despite his opposition to same-sex marriage, he advocated civil unions and the possibility for same-sex partners to inherit under the same regime as married couples. The law was voted in July 2007. On 7 February, Sarkozy decided in favour of a projected second, non-nuclear, aircraft carrier for the national Navy (adding to the nuclear Charles de Gaulle), during an official visit in Toulon with Defence Minister Michèle Alliot-Marie. "This would allow permanently having an operational ship, taking into account the constraints of maintenance", he explained. On 21 March, President Jacques Chirac announced his support for Sarkozy. Chirac pointed out that Sarkozy had been chosen as presidential candidate for the ruling UMP party, and said: "So it is totally natural that I give him my vote and my support." To focus on his campaign, Sarkozy stepped down as interior minister on 26 March.
    On 14 January 2007, Sarkozy was chosen by the UMP to be its candidate in the 2007 presidential election.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy, who was running unopposed, won 98 percent of the votes. Of the 327,000 UMP members who could vote, 69 percent participated in the online ballot.
    In the 2007 and 2008, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest all spoke in favour of a Canada - EU free trade agreement.
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    Sarkozy was a likely candidate for the presidency in 2007; in an oft-repeated comment made on television channel France 2, when asked by a journalist whether he thought about the presidential election when he shaved in the morning, Sarkozy commented, "Not just when I shave".
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  • 2006
    Age 51
    In early 2006, the French parliament adopted a controversial bill known as DADVSI, which reforms French copyright law.
    More Details Hide Details Since his party was divided on the issue, Sarkozy stepped in and organised meetings between various parties involved. Later, groups such as the Odebi League and EUCD.info alleged that Sarkozy personally and unofficially supported certain amendments to the law, which enacted strong penalties against designers of peer-to-peer systems.
  • FORTIES
  • 2005
    Age 50
    In September 2005 Sarkozy was accused of pushing for a hasty inquiry into an arson attack on a police station in Pau, of which the alleged perpetrators were acquitted for lack of proof.
    More Details Hide Details On 22 June 2005 Sarkozy told law enforcement officials that he had questioned the Minister of Justice about the future of "the judge" who had freed a man on parole who had later committed a murder.
    These calls culminated in an interview with Le Monde on 8 September 2005, during which he claimed that the French had been misled for 30 years by false promises.
    More Details Hide Details Among other issues: Such policies are what are called in France libéral (that is, in favour of laissez-faire economic policies) or, with a pejorative undertone, ultra-libéral. Sarkozy rejects this label of libéral and prefers to call himself a pragmatist. Sarkozy opened another avenue of controversy by declaring that he wanted a reform of the immigration system, with quotas designed to admit the skilled workers needed by the French economy. He also wants to reform the current French system for foreign students, saying that it enables foreign students to take open-ended curricula in order to obtain residency in France; instead, he wants to select the best students to the best curricula in France.
    Throughout 2005, Sarkozy called for radical changes in France's economic and social policies.
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    In 2005, he supported a "yes" vote in the French referendum on the European Constitution, but the "No" vote won.
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    On 31 May 2005 the main French news radio station France Info reported a rumour that Sarkozy was to be reappointed Minister of the Interior in the government of Dominique de Villepin without resigning from the UMP leadership.
    More Details Hide Details This was confirmed on 2 June 2005, when the members of the government were officially announced. Towards the end of his first term as Minister of the Interior, in 2004, Sarkozy was the most divisive conservative politician in France, according to polls conducted at the beginning of 2004. Sarkozy has sought to ease the sometimes tense relationships between the general French population and the Muslim community. Unlike the Catholic Church in France with their official leaders or Protestants with their umbrella organisations, the French Muslim community had a lack of structure with no group that could legitimately deal with the French government on their behalf. Sarkozy supported the foundation in May 2003 of the private non-profit Conseil français du culte musulman ("French Council of the Muslim Faith"), an organisation meant to be representative of French Muslims. In addition, Sarkozy has suggested amending the 1905 law on the separation of Church and State, mostly in order to be able to finance mosques and other Muslim institutions with public funds so that they are less reliant on money from outside France. It was not followed by any concrete measure.
    He was re-elected on 13 March 2005 to the National Assembly (as required by the constitution, he had to resign as a deputy when he became minister in 2002).
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    Sarkozy was made Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (Knight of the Legion of Honour) by President Chirac in February 2005.
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  • 2004
    Age 49
    In party elections of 10 November 2004, Sarkozy became leader of the UMP with 85% of the vote.
    More Details Hide Details In accordance with an agreement with Chirac, he resigned as Finance Minister. Sarkozy's ascent was marked by the division of UMP between sarkozystes, such as Sarkozy's "first lieutenant", Brice Hortefeux, and Chirac loyalists, such as Jean-Louis Debré.
    In the cabinet reshuffle of 30 April 2004, Sarkozy became Finance Minister.
    More Details Hide Details Tensions continued to build between Sarkozy and Chirac and within the UMP party, as Sarkozy's intentions of becoming head of the party after the resignation of Alain Juppé became clear.
    From 2004 to 2007, Sarkozy has been president of the Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (UMP), France's major right-wing political party, and he was Minister of the Interior in the government of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, with the honorific title of Minister of State, making him effectively the number three official in the French State after President Jacques Chirac and Villepin.
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    Before his presidency, he was the leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party. During Jacques Chirac's second presidential term he served as Minister of the Interior except between March 2004 and May 2005 when he was minister of Finances.
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  • 2002
    Age 47
    In 2002, however, after his re-election as President of the French Republic (see French presidential election, 2002), Chirac appointed Sarkozy as French Minister of the Interior in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, despite Sarkozy's support of Edouard Balladur for French President in 1995.
    More Details Hide Details Following Chirac's 14 July keynote speech on road safety, Sarkozy as interior minister pushed through new legislation leading to the mass purchase of speed cameras and a campaign to increase the awareness of dangers on the roads.
  • 1999
    Age 44
    When the party leader Philippe Séguin resigned, in 1999, he took the leadership of the Neo-Gaullist party.
    More Details Hide Details But it obtained its worst result at the 1999 European Parliament election, winning 12.7% of the votes, less than the dissident Rally for France of Charles Pasqua. Sarkozy lost the RPR leadership.
  • 1997
    Age 42
    However, he returned after the right-wing defeat at the 1997 parliamentary election, as the number two candidate of the RPR.
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  • 1996
    Age 41
    Sarkozy married her in October 1996, with witnesses Martin Bouygues and Bernard Arnault.
    More Details Hide Details They have one son, Louis, born 23 April 1997. Between 2002 and 2005, the couple often appeared together on public occasions, with Cécilia Sarkozy acting as the chief aide for her husband. On 25 May 2005, however, the Swiss newspaper Le Matin revealed that she had left Sarkozy for French-Moroccan national Richard Attias, head of Publicis in New York. There were other accusations of a private nature in Le Matin, which led to Sarkozy suing the paper. In the meantime, he was said to have had an affair with a journalist of Le Figaro, Anne Fulda.
    Sarkozy divorced Culioli in 1996, after they had been separated for several years.
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  • THIRTIES
  • 1995
    Age 40
    In 1995, he spurned Chirac and backed Édouard Balladur for President of France.
    More Details Hide Details After Chirac won the election, Sarkozy lost his position as Minister for the Budget, and found himself outside the circles of power.
  • 1993
    Age 38
    At the same time, from 1993 to 1995, he was Minister for the Budget and spokesman for the executive in the cabinet of Prime Minister Édouard Balladur.
    More Details Hide Details Throughout most of his early career, Sarkozy had been seen as a protégé of Jacques Chirac. During his tenure, he increased France's public debt more than any other French Budget Minister, by the equivalent of €200 billion (USD260 billion) (FY 1994–1996). The first two budgets he submitted to the parliament (budgets for FY1994 and FY1995) assumed a yearly budget deficit equivalent to six percent of GDP. According to the Maastricht Treaty, the French yearly budget deficit may not exceed three percent of France's GDP.
    In 1993, Sarkozy was in the national news for personally negotiating with the "Human Bomb", a man who had taken small children hostage in a kindergarten in Neuilly.
    More Details Hide Details The "Human Bomb" was killed after two days of talks by policemen of the RAID, who entered the school stealthily while the attacker was resting.
  • 1988
    Age 33
    In 1988, he became a deputy in the National Assembly.
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    In 1988, she left her husband for Sarkozy, and divorced Martin one year later.
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  • TWENTIES
  • 1983
    Age 28
    He served from 1983 to 2002.
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    Sarkozy was also mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of France, from 1983 to 2002.
    More Details Hide Details He was Minister of the Budget in the government of Édouard Balladur (1993-95) during François Mitterrand's last term. During his term, he faced the late-2000s financial crisis (followed by the recession and the debt crisis caused by it) and the Arab Spring (especially in Tunisia, Libya, and Syria).
  • 1982
    Age 27
    Sarkozy married his first wife, Marie-Dominique Culioli, on 23 September 1982; her father was a pharmacist from Vico (a village north of Ajaccio, Corsica), her uncle was Achille Peretti, the mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine from 1947–1983 and Sarkozy's political mentor.
    More Details Hide Details They had two sons, Pierre (born in 1985), now a hip-hop producer, and Jean (born in 1986) now a local politician in the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine where Sarkozy started his own political career. Sarkozy's best man was the prominent right-wing politician Charles Pasqua, later to become a political opponent.
  • 1979
    Age 24
    After graduating from university, Sarkozy entered Sciences Po, where he studied between 1979 and 1981, but failed to graduate due to an insufficient command of the English language.
    More Details Hide Details After passing the bar, Sarkozy became a lawyer specializing in business and family law and was one of Silvio Berlusconi's top French lawyers.
  • TEENAGE
  • 1973
    Age 18
    His family then sent him to the Cours Saint-Louis de Monceau, a private Catholic school in the 17th arrondissement, where he was reportedly a mediocre student, but where he nonetheless obtained his baccalauréat in 1973.
    More Details Hide Details Sarkozy enrolled at the Université Paris X Nanterre, where he graduated with an M.A. in private law and, later, with a D.E.A. degree in business law. Paris X Nanterre had been the starting place for the May '68 student movement and was still a stronghold of leftist students. Described as a quiet student, Sarkozy soon joined the right-wing student organization, in which he was very active. He completed his military service as a part-time Air Force cleaner.
  • CHILDHOOD
  • 1959
    Age 4
    They were married in the Saint-François-de-Sales church, 17th arrondissement of Paris, on 8 February 1950 and divorced in 1959.
    More Details Hide Details During Sarkozy's childhood, his father founded his own advertising agency and became wealthy. The family lived in a mansion owned by Sarkozy's maternal grandfather, Benedict Mallah, in the 17th Arrondissement of Paris. The family later moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of the Île-de-France région immediately west of Paris. According to Sarkozy, his staunchly Gaullist grandfather was more of an influence on him than his father, whom he rarely saw. Sarkozy was raised Catholic. Sarkozy said that being abandoned by his father shaped much of who he is today. He also has said that, in his early years, he felt inferior in relation to his wealthier and taller classmates. "What made me who I am now is the sum of all the humiliations suffered during childhood", he said later. Sarkozy was enrolled in the Lycée Chaptal, a well regarded public middle and high school in Paris' 8th arrondissement, where he failed his sixième.
  • 1955
    Age 0
    Born on January 28, 1955.
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