He won the French presidential election by a During his term, he faced the lates financial crisis causing a recession and the European sovereign debt crisis and the Arab Spring especially in Tunisia , Libya , and Syria. He initiated the reform of French universities and the pension reform After leaving the presidential office, Sarkozy vowed to retire from public life before coming back in , being subsequently reelected as UMP leader renamed The Republicans in Being defeated at the Republican presidential primary in , he retired from public life.
He is currently charged with corruption by French prosecutors in two cases, notably concerning the alleged Libyan interference in the French elections. 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. 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.
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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. After graduating from university, Sarkozy entered Sciences Po , where he studied between and , but failed to graduate  due to an insufficient command of the English language.
After passing the bar , Sarkozy became a lawyer specializing in business and family law  and was one of Silvio Berlusconi 's French lawyers. Sarkozy married his first wife, Marie-Dominique Culioli, on 23 September ; 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 — and Sarkozy's political mentor.
They had two sons, Pierre born in , now a hip-hop producer,  and Jean born in 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. In , she left her husband for Sarkozy, and divorced one year later. The couple have a daughter, Giulia, born on 19 October Sarkozy is recognized by French parties on both the Right and Left as a skilled politician and striking orator.
Overall, he is considered more pro-American and pro-Israeli than most French politicians. From to , Sarkozy was 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.
His ministerial responsibilities included law enforcement and working to co-ordinate relationships between the national and local governments, as well as Minister of Worship in this role he created the French Council of the Muslim Faith CFCM. Previously, he was a deputy to the French National Assembly. He was forced to resign this position in order to accept his ministerial appointment.
He previously also held several ministerial posts, including Finance Minister.
Sarkozy's political career began when he was 23, when he became a city councillor in Neuilly-sur-Seine. A member of the Neo-Gaullist party RPR, he went on to be elected mayor of that town, after the death of the incumbent mayor Achille Peretti. Sarkozy had been close to Peretti, as his mother was Peretti's secretary. Instead Sarkozy took that opportunity to propel himself into the office of mayor. He served from to In , he became a deputy in the National Assembly.
In , 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. The first two budgets he submitted to the parliament budgets for FY and FY assumed a yearly budget deficit equivalent to six percent of GDP. After Chirac won the election, Sarkozy lost his position as Minister for the Budget, and found himself outside the circles of power.
However, he returned after the right-wing defeat at the parliamentary election , as the number two candidate of the RPR. But it obtained its worst result at the European Parliament election , winning Sarkozy lost the RPR leadership. In the cabinet reshuffle of 30 April , Sarkozy became Finance Minister.
In accordance with an agreement with Chirac, he resigned as Finance Minister. He was re-elected on 13 March to the National Assembly. As required by the constitution,  he had to resign as a deputy when he became minister in On 31 May 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.
This was confirmed on 2 June , when the members of the government were officially announced. Towards the end of his first term as Minister of the Interior, in , Sarkozy was the most divisive conservative politician in France, according to polls conducted at the beginning of 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.
It was not followed by any concrete measure. During his short appointment as Minister of Finance , Sarkozy was responsible for introducing a number of policies. He resigned the day following his election as president of the UMP. During his second term at the Ministry of the Interior, Sarkozy was initially more discreet about his ministerial activities: instead of focusing on his own topic of law and order, many of his declarations addressed wider issues, since he was expressing his opinions as head of the UMP party. However, the civil unrest in autumn put law enforcement in the spotlight again.
After the accidental death of two youths, which sparked the riots, Sarkozy first blamed it on "hoodlums" and gangsters. These remarks were sharply criticised by many on the left wing and by a member of his own government, Delegate Minister for Equal Opportunities Azouz Begag. After the rioting, he made a number of announcements on future policy: selection of immigrants, greater tracking of immigrants, and a reform on the ordinance government justice measures for young delinquents. Before he was elected President of France, Sarkozy was president of UMP , the French conservative party, elected with 85 percent of the vote.
During his presidency, the number of members has significantly increased. In , he supported a "yes" vote in the French referendum on the European Constitution , but the "No" vote won. Throughout , Sarkozy called for radical changes in France's economic and social policies. These calls culminated in an interview with Le Monde on 8 September , during which he claimed that the French had been misled for 30 years by false promises. 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.
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Since his party was divided on the issue, Sarkozy stepped in and organised meetings between various parties involved. Sarkozy was a likely candidate for the presidency in ; 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".
On 14 January , Sarkozy was chosen by the UMP to be its candidate in the presidential election. Sarkozy, who was running unopposed, won 98 percent of the votes. Of the , UMP members who could vote, 69 percent participated in the online ballot. In February , Sarkozy appeared on a televised debate on TF1 where he expressed his support for affirmative action and the freedom to work overtime. 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 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. During the campaign, rival candidates had accused Sarkozy of being a "candidate for brutality" and of presenting hard-line views about France's future.
The first round of the presidential election was held on 22 April Sarkozy came in first with In the second round, Sarkozy came out on top to win the election with 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.
On 6 May , Nicolas Sarkozy became the sixth person to be elected President of the Fifth Republic which was established in , and the 23rd President in French history. 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. However, after 17 June parliamentary elections, the Cabinet was adjusted to 15 ministers and 16 deputy ministers, totalling 31 officials. Sarkozy broke with the custom of amnestying traffic tickets and of releasing thousands of prisoners from overcrowded jails on Bastille Day , a tradition that Napoleon had started in to commemorate the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution.
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. Furthermore, he announced on 24 July , that French and European representatives had obtained the extradition of the Bulgarian nurses detained in Libya to their country. On 8 June , during the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm , Sarkozy set a goal of reducing French CO 2 emissions by 50 percent by in order to prevent global warming. In , a study of Yale and Columbia universities ranked France the most respectful country of the G20 concerning the environment.
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. 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. 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 hour week tax-free.
However, as a result of the global financial crisis that came to a head in September , Sarkozy has returned to the state interventionism of his predecessors, declaring that "laissez-faire capitalism is over" and denouncing the "dictatorship of the market". Confronted with the suggestion that he had become a socialist, he responded: "Have I become socialist?
Sarkozy's government issued a decree on 7 August to generalise a voluntary biometric profiling program of travellers in airports. The program, called 'Parafes', was to use fingerprints. On 21 July , the French parliament passed constitutional reforms which Sarkozy had made one of the key pledges of his presidential campaign. The vote was to , 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".
During his presidential campaign, Sarkozy promised a strengthening of the entente cordiale with the United Kingdom  and closer cooperation with the United States. 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.
Climate Summit on 22 September Welcoming the proposal, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called for a "ceasefire that can endure and that can bring real security". Muammar Gaddafi 's official visit to Nicolas Sarkozy in December triggered a strong wave of protests against the President in France. In March , 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.
Nicolas Sarkozy promised them a no-fly zone would be imposed on Gaddafi's aeroplanes.
Nicolas Sarkozy and Europe: A little less conversation ... a little more action
He also promised them French military assistance. On 17 March , at the behest of France, resolution 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. On 19 March , Nicolas Sarkozy officially announced the beginning of a military intervention in Libya , with France's participation. These actions of Nicolas Sarkozy were favorably received by the majority of the French political class and public opinion.
In , the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament published a report stating that the military intervention "was based on erroneous assumptions" that the threat of a massacre of civilian populations has been "overvalued" and that the coalition is " Has not "verified the real threat to civilians"; He also believes that the true motivations of Nicolas Sarkozy were to serve French interests and to "improve his political situation in France". Sarkozy was one of ten candidates who qualified for the first round of voting.
He received an estimated After his defeat at the election, Nicolas Sarkozy asked his supporters to respect Hollande's victory. 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. On 19 September , Sarkozy announced that he was returning to politics and would run for chairman of the UMP party. In January , Sarkozy published the book La France pour la vie. He decided to endorse Fillon and to retire from politics. 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.
In , 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 to Sarkozy. This story was corroborated by some trade union officials. This was the subject of a political row: the president's office called the accusation "completely absurd and grotesque", while the Socialist Party mocked his fastidious preparation. Sarkozy lost a suit against a manufacturer of Sarkozy voodoo dolls , in which he claimed that he had a right to his own image. Sarkozy was nicknamed as Hyper-president or hyperpresident by some French media  after his election as president.
It is a portmanteau of hyper and president to insist on the desire of Sarkozy to control everything. The biopic The Conquest is a film that dramatizes Sarkozy's rise to power, with candid portrayals of Sarkozy himself, Chirac and Villepin. It was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. Sarkozy is generally disliked by the left and has been criticised by some on the right, most vocally by moderate Gaullist supporters of Jacques Chirac and Dominique de Villepin.
He advocated reducing the separation of church and state , arguing for the government subsidies for mosques to encourage Islamic integration into French society. After meeting with Tom Cruise , Sarkozy was criticized by some for meeting with a member of the Church of Scientology , which has been seen by some as a cult. Similarly, he drew criticism from Christians after he called Islam "one of the greatest and most beautiful civilizations the world has known" at a speech in Riyadh in January His period as Interior Minister saw the use of police as shock troops in the "banlieues", and a police "raid" on the suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois in October led to two boys being electrocuted in a power sub-station.
The riots began that night. In September 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. A few weeks before the first round of the presidential elections, Sarkozy had an interview with philosopher Michel Onfray. 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. At least let's debate it, let's not close the door to all debate. On 27 July , Sarkozy delivered a speech in Dakar , Senegal, written by Henri Guaino, in which he claimed that "the African has never really entered into history". On 30 July , Sarkozy suggested a new policy of security, and he proposed "stripping foreign-born French citizens who opted to acquire their nationality at their majority of their citizenship if they are convicted of threatening the life of a police officer or other serious crimes".
On 23 February , Sarkozy was filmed by a reporter for French newspaper Le Parisien having the following exchange while visiting the Paris International Agricultural Show : . While quickly crossing the hall Saturday morning, in the middle of the crowd, Sarkozy encounters a recalcitrant visitor who refuses to shake his hand.
The president retorted immediately: "Get lost, then. With a frozen smile, Sarkozy says, his teeth glistening, a refined "Get lost, then, poor dumb-ass, go. A precise translation into English has many possible variations. Sarkozy opposed the U. However, he was critical of the way Chirac and his foreign minister Dominique de Villepin expressed France's opposition to the war. In October , Sarkozy was accused of nepotism for helping his son, Jean, try to become head of the public body running France's biggest business district EPAD. On 5 July , 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 , in cash.
On 1 July Sarkozy was detained for questioning by police over claims he had promised a prestigious role in Monaco to a high-ranking judge, Gilbert Azibert, in exchange for information about the investigation into alleged illegal campaign funding. Mr Azibert, one of the most senior judges at the Court of Appeal , was called in for questioning on 30 June The two accusations carry sentences of up to 10 years in prison.
On 16 February , Sarkozy was indicted on "illegal financing of political campaign" charges related to overspending in his presidential campaign and retained as witness in connection with the Bygmalion scandal. Shortly after Sarkozy's inauguration as President of France in , he invited Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to France over the objections of both the political opposition, and members of his own government.
Saif al-Islam Gaddafi's claim was later repeated by former Libyan prime minister Baghdadi Mahmudi in October of that year, though Sarkozy denied its veracity.
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A judicial investigation against then-unidentified persons was initiated in April in Paris. On 20 March, Sarkozy was arrested by French police and held for questioning concerning the various allegations about a Libyan connection, the first time he had been interrogated in relation to the matter. Following Sarkozy's arrest, Saif al-Islam expressed a willingness to testify in any future trial. On 20 and 21 March , Sarkozy was put into police custody and held for questioning concerning the Libyan connection. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 27 June For the surname, see Sarkozy surname.
Marie-Dominique Culioli m. Carla Bruni m. Main article: Family history of Nicolas Sarkozy. Main article: Response to the civil unrest in France. Main article: French presidential election, Main article: Presidency of Nicolas Sarkozy. Further information: The Republicans France presidential primary, What are the dynamics of value politics? Contributions also compare MEPs with national MPs and citizens to measure whether the findings are specific to the supranational arena and European multi-level governance. External cases, such as the USA and Israel, are also presented to define whether there is a European exceptionalism regarding the role of religion in the political arena.
Routledge Amazon. Religion at the European Parliament and in European multi-level governance. Defenders of faith? Victims of secularisation?