Nicolas Sarkozy (en) life and biography

Nicolas Sarkozy (en) picture, image, poster

Nicolas Sarkozy (en) biography

Date of birth : 1955-01-28
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Paris,France
Nationality : French
Category : Politics
Last modified : 2011-10-20
Credited as : President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac, Carla Bruni

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Nicolas Sarkozy was born January 28, 1955 to immigrant Greek and Hungarian parents. He studied political science and served as mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine for 20 years before entering national French politics. As interior minister, Sarkozy attracted attention during the Paris riots of 2005. He was elected president in 2007, promising business-friendly policies and a closer relationship to the U.S.

Sarkozy qualified as a lawyer (1981) and pursued advanced studies in political science at the Institut d'tudes Politiques in Paris (1979–81). An ambitious and highly skilled politician, Sarkozy in 1983 was elected mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, where he served until 2002. He first made his mark on the national scene in 1993 when he became budget minister and official spokesman in the government of Prime Minister douard Balladur. Balladur had been put forward by rightist politicians, including Jacques Chirac, to serve as prime minister under Socialist Pres. Franois Mitterrand, with the idea that someone—such as Chirac—would contest the 1995 presidential election. Sarkozy, however, encouraged Balladur to run for president himself and thereby earned the lasting enmity of Chirac, to whom he had once been very close. Balladur lost to Chirac, and Sarkozy was shut out of the subsequent centre-right government of 1995–97.

In 2002, after Chirac's reelection as president was quickly followed by the election of another centre-right administration, Sarkozy returned to office as interior minister, a post he held for nearly two years until he became finance minister in March 2004. Soon after, however, Chirac asked him to choose between his government post and becoming president of the centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, the neo-Gaullist successor party to the Rally for the Republic that Chirac had founded. Sarkozy chose the UMP job and quit the government in November 2004. In the wake of the May 2005 referendum in which French voters rejected the proposed European Union (EU) constitution, Chirac invited Sarkozy to return as interior minister in a new government to be headed by Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

In late 2005 Sarkozy had to contend with three weeks of rioting in the less-affluent suburbs of Paris and other cities. Although critics blamed him for inciting the car-burning protesters by calling them “scum,” his supporters approved of his hard-line stance on law and order as well as his call for tougher immigration laws. In 2007 Sarkozy ran for president of France. He finished first in the initial round of voting on April 22, winning 31 percent of the vote. In the runoff election on May 6, Sarkozy defeated Ségolne Royal of the Socialist Party, capturing 53 percent of the vote. Sarkozy was sworn in as president on May 16, 2007. He promised a “rupture” with France's past, including radical economic reforms that would reduce taxes and liberalize the country's labour market, and closer relations with the United States.

In the parliamentary elections of June 2007 Sarkozy's UMP did less well than expected but still well enough to provide a comfortable majority for the new government of Franois Fillon, whom Sarkozy had appointed as prime minister just after assuming the presidency. In the subsequent cabinet reshuffle, Sarkozy made several surprising appointments, including the country's first woman finance minister (Christine Lagarde), the first full cabinet member of North African origin (Rachida Dati), and a maverick Socialist (Bernard Kouchner) as foreign minister. Sarkozy also chose Socialists for several other key appointments.

In the first few months of his presidency Sarkozy carried out some of his promised labour market and tax-cutting reforms. He decided not to scrap the 35-hour maximum on the standard workweek (a landmark Socialist law) but rather to use tax relief on overtime pay to moderate the law's rigidity. Other new business-friendly laws restricted the right to strike and cut off unemployment payments to people who turned down certain job offers. Sarkozy also won narrow approval from the legislature for a constitutional change to limit the presidency to two five-year terms.

While maintaining Europe as the prime focus of his foreign policy, Sarkozy was relatively pro-American compared with his predecessors. He showed signs of being more accommodating to the United States (especially with his active interest in a positive outcome in Iraq) and of being somewhat more troublesome to some of his euro zone partners (with his criticism of restrictive European Central Bank monetary policy). He also stressed EU complementarity to NATO, friendship with Israel, and a tough attitude toward Iranian nuclear weapons.

In July 2007 Sarkozy drew worldwide attention for the prominent part he and his wife Cécilia played in gaining the release of six Bulgarian medics (charged with infecting children with HIV) who had been held in Libya since 1999. While applauding the release, some in France and the EU criticized Sarkozy's high-profile involvement as well as his wife's participation. Meanwhile, to the relief of many EU partners, Sarkozy agreed to put forward a revamped EU treaty for approval by the French parliament and not by referendum (as Chirac had tried and failed to do in 2005). His efforts in support of this agreement, the so-called Lisbon Treaty, were rewarded when the parliament ratified it in February 2008. Sarkozy continued to play a vocal role in European affairs once France assumed the presidency of the EU, which rotates among member countries, that July. The same month, Sarkozy oversaw the launch of the Mediterranean Union, an international organization made up of Mediterranean rim countries in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Although the French media had traditionally avoided close examination of the private lives of French leaders, Sarkozy's personal problems were well known even before his presidency because of the publicity surrounding a temporary separation from Cécilia, his second wife. His divorce from her in October 2007 and his marriage to singer Carla Bruni in February 2008 drew increased media scrutiny. Many in France viewed the interest in Sarkozy's private life as distasteful and inappropriate, and some accused Sarkozy himself of cultivating a flashy image to distract the public from negative aspects of his administration.
David BuchanEd.

Having fared poorly in French regional elections in March 2010, the UMP retained control of only 1 of 22 régions. The results appeared to reflect French voters' growing dissatisfaction with the president and his conservative party during a time of high unemployment and economic uncertainty.

On 27 February 2011, Sarkozy did for the 10th time of his presidency a government reshuffle.
On 29 June 2011, he did a 11th government reshuffle, after the resignation of Christine Lagarde, who was appointed at the head of the International Monetary Fund. Five new ministers were appointed.

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).
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. Sarkozy divorced Culioli in 1996, after they had been separated for several years.

As mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, Sarkozy met former fashion model and public relations executive Cécilia Ciganer-Albéniz (great-granddaughter of composer Isaac Albéniz and daughter of a Moldovan father), when he officiated at her wedding to television host Jacques Martin. In 1988, she left her husband for Sarkozy, and divorced Martin one year later. Sarkozy married her in October 1996, with witnesses Martin Bouygues and Bernard Arnault. 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 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 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.

On 17 May 2011 it was announced that Sarkozy and Carla Bruni are expecting their first child later this year. Appearing at the 2011 G8Meeting in Deauville, she presented herself to the media to formally announce her pregnancy. On 19 October 2011 it was announced that the couple's child was born and that it was a daughter.

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 photographer Philippe Warrin, better known for his paparazzi work.

Former Daily Telegraph journalist Colin Randall has highlighted Sarkozy's tighter control of his image and frequent interventions in the media: "he censors a book, or fires the chief editor of a weekly."
Sarkozy is reported by Reuters to be sensitive about his height (believed to be 165 cm (5 ft 5 in)). He has been noted as wearing substantially heeled shoes and standing on hidden platforms, while the French media have pointed out that Carla Bruni frequently wears flats when in public with him.
In 2009, this was the subject of a political row, when a worker at a factory where Sarkozy gave a speech said she was asked to stand next to him because she was of a similar height (this story was corroborated by some trade union officials).
The president's office called the accusation "completely absurd and grotesque", while the Socialist Party mocked his fastidious preparation.

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