Jacques René Chirac (French: [ʒak ʁəne ʃiʁak]; born 29 November 1932) is a French politician who served as President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra from 1995 to 2007. Chirac previously was Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988, as well as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.
After completing his degree at Sciences Po, a term at Harvard University, and the École nationale d'administration, Chirac began his career as a high-level civil servant, and entered politics shortly after. Chirac occupied various senior positions, including Minister of Agriculture and Minister of the Interior. Chirac's internal policies initially included lower tax rates, the removal of price controls, strong punishment for crime and terrorism, and business privatisation. After pursuing these policies in his second term as Prime Minister, he changed his views. He argued for more socially responsible economic policies, and was elected President in the 1995 presidential election with 52.6% of the vote in the second round, beating Socialist Lionel Jospin, after campaigning on a platform of healing the "social rift" (fracture sociale). Then, Chirac's economic policies, based on dirigisme, allowing for state-directed investment, stood in opposition to the laissez-faire policies of the United Kingdom, which Chirac famously described as "Anglo-Saxon ultraliberalism".
He is also known for his stand against the American-led assault on Iraq, his recognition of the collaborationist French Government's role in deporting Jews, and his reduction of the presidential term from 7 years to 5 through a referendum in 2000. At the 2002 French presidential election, he won 82.2% of the vote in the second round against the far-right candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen. During his second term, however, he had a very low approval rating, and was considered one of the least popular presidents in modern French history.
On 15 December 2011, the Paris court declared Chirac guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence, and gave him a two-year suspended prison sentence.
Jacques Chirac in 2006
|President of the French Republic|
17 May 1995 – 16 May 2007
|Prime Minister||Alain Juppé|
Dominique de Villepin
|Preceded by||François Mitterrand|
|Succeeded by||Nicolas Sarkozy|
|Co-Prince of Andorra|
17 May 1995 – 16 May 2007
Serving with Joan Martí Alanis
|Prime Minister||Marc Forné Molné|
|Preceded by||François Mitterrand|
|Succeeded by||Nicolas Sarkozy|
|Prime Minister of France|
20 March 1986 – 10 May 1988
|Preceded by||Laurent Fabius|
|Succeeded by||Michel Rocard|
27 May 1974 – 26 August 1976
|President||Valéry Giscard d'Estaing|
|Preceded by||Pierre Messmer|
|Succeeded by||Raymond Barre|
|Mayor of Paris|
20 March 1977 – 16 May 1995
|Preceded by||Position re-established|
|Succeeded by||Jean Tiberi|
|President of Rally for the Republic|
5 December 1976 – 4 November 1994
|Preceded by||Position established|
|Succeeded by||Alain Juppé|
|Minister of the Interior|
27 February 1974 – 28 May 1974
|Prime Minister||Pierre Messmer|
|Preceded by||Raymond Marcellin|
|Succeeded by||Michel Poniatowski|
|Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development|
7 July 1972 – 27 February 1974
|Prime Minister||Pierre Messmer|
|Preceded by||Michel Cointat|
|Succeeded by||Raymond Marcellin|
|Minister for Parliamentary Relations|
7 January 1971 – 5 July 1972
|Prime Minister||Jacques Chaban-Delmas|
|Preceded by||Roger Frey|
|Succeeded by||Robert Boulin|
|President of the Corrèze General Council|
15 March 1970 – 25 March 1979
|Preceded by||Elie Rouby|
|Succeeded by||Georges Debat|
Jacques René Chirac
29 November 1932
Paris, French Third Republic
|Political party||Communist Party (Before 1962)|
Union for the New Republic (1962–1968)
Union of Democrats for the Republic (1968–1971)
Rally for the Republic (1971–2002)
Union for a Popular Movement (2002–2015)
Bernadette de Courcel (m. 1956)
|Alma mater||Sciences Po|
École nationale d'administration
|Years of service||1954–1957|
Chirac, born in the Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire clinic (Paris Ve), is the son of Abel François Marie Chirac (1898–1968), a successful executive for an aircraft company, and Marie-Louise Valette (1902–1973), a housewife. His great grandparents on both sides were peasants, but his two grandfathers were teachers from Sainte-Féréole in Corrèze. According to Chirac, his name "originates from the langue d'oc, that of the troubadours, therefore that of poetry". He is a Roman Catholic.
Chirac was an only child (his elder sister, Jacqueline, died in infancy before his birth). He was educated in Paris at the Cours Hattemer, a private school. He then attended the Lycée Carnot and the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. After his baccalauréat, he served for three months as a sailor on a coal-transporter.
In 1956, he married Bernadette Chodron de Courcel, with whom he had two daughters: Laurence (born 4 March 1958, deceased 14 April 2016) and Claude (6 December 1962). Claude has long worked as a public relations assistant and personal adviser, while Laurence, who suffered from anorexia nervosa in her youth, did not participate in the political activities of her father. Chirac is the grandfather of Martin Rey-Chirac by the relationship of Claude with French judoka Thierry Rey. Jacques and Bernadette Chirac also have a foster daughter, Anh Dao Traxel.
Inspired by General Charles de Gaulle, Chirac started to pursue a civil service career in the 1950s. During this period, he joined the French Communist Party, sold copies of L'Humanité, and took part in meetings of a communist cell. In 1950, he signed the Soviet-inspired Stockholm Appeal for the abolition of nuclear weapons – which led him to be questioned when he applied for his first visa to the United States.
In 1953, after graduating from the Paris Institute of Political Studies, he attended Harvard University's summer school, before entering the ENA, the Grande école National School of Administration, which trains France's top civil servants, in 1957.
Chirac trained as a reserve military officer in armoured cavalry at Saumur, where he was ranked first in his year. He then volunteered to fight in the Algerian War, using personal connections to be sent despite the reservations of his superiors. His superiors did not want to make him an officer because they suspected he had communist leanings. After leaving the ENA in 1959, he became a civil servant in the Court of Auditors.
In April 1962, Chirac was appointed head of the personal staff of Prime Minister Georges Pompidou. This appointment launched Chirac's political career. Pompidou considered Chirac his protégé, and referred to him as "my bulldozer" for his skill at getting things done. The nickname "Le Bulldozer" caught on in French political circles, where it also referred to his abrasive manner. As late as the 1988 presidential election, Chirac maintained this reputation. In 1995 an anonymous British diplomat said Chirac "cuts through the crap and comes straight to the point... It's refreshing, although you have to put your seat belt on when you work with him".
At Pompidou's suggestion, Chirac ran as a Gaullist for a seat in the National Assembly in 1967. He was elected deputy for his home Corrèze département, a stronghold of the left. This surprising victory in the context of a Gaullist ebb permitted him to enter the government as Minister of Social Affairs. Although Chirac was well-situated in de Gaulle's entourage, being related by marriage to the general's sole companion at the time of the Appeal of 18 June 1940, he was more of a "Pompidolian" than a "Gaullist". When student and worker unrest rocked France in May 1968, Chirac played a central role in negotiating a truce. Then, as state secretary of economy (1968–1971), he worked closely with Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, who headed the ministry of economy and finance.
After some months in the ministry for Relations with Parliament, Chirac's first high-level post came in 1972 when he became Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development under Pompidou, who had been elected president in 1969, after de Gaulle retired. Chirac quickly earned a reputation as a champion of French farmers' interests, and first attracted international attention when he assailed U.S., West German, and European Commission agricultural policies which conflicted with French interests.
On 27 February 1974, after the resignation of Raymond Marcellin, Chirac was appointed Minister of the Interior. On 21 March 1974, he cancelled the SAFARI project due to privacy concerns after its existence was revealed by Le Monde. From March 1974, he was entrusted by President Pompidou with preparations for the presidential election then scheduled for 1976. These elections were moved forward because of Pompidou's sudden death on 2 April 1974.
Chirac vainly attempted to rally Gaullists behind Prime Minister Pierre Messmer. Jacques Chaban-Delmas announced his candidacy in spite of the disapproval of the "Pompidolians". Chirac and others published the call of the 43 in favour of Giscard d'Estaing, the leader of the non-Gaullist part of the parliamentary majority. Giscard d'Estaing was elected as Pompidou's successor after France's most competitive election campaign in years. In return, the new president chose Chirac to lead the cabinet.
When Valéry Giscard d'Estaing became president, he nominated Chirac as prime minister on 27 May 1974, in order to reconcile the "Giscardian" and "non-Giscardian" factions of the parliamentary majority. At the age of 41, Chirac stood out as the very model of the jeunes loups ("young wolves") of French politics, but he was faced with the hostility of the "Barons of Gaullism" who considered him a traitor for his role during the previous presidential campaign. In December 1974, he took the lead of the Union of Democrats for the Republic (UDR) against the will of its more senior personalities.
As prime minister, Chirac quickly set about persuading the Gaullists that, despite the social reforms proposed by President Giscard, the basic tenets of Gaullism, such as national and European independence, would be retained. Chirac was advised by Pierre Juillet and Marie-France Garaud, two former advisers of Pompidou. These two organised the campaign against Chaban-Delmas in 1974. They advocated a clash with Giscard d'Estaing because they thought his policy bewildered the conservative electorate. Citing Giscard's unwillingness to give him authority, Chirac resigned as Prime Minister in 1976. He proceeded to build up his political base among France's several conservative parties, with a goal of reconstituting the Gaullist UDR into a Neo-Gaullist group, the Rally for the Republic (RPR). Chirac's first tenure as prime minister was also an arguably progressive one, with improvements in both the minimum wage and the social welfare system carried out during the course of his premiership.
After his departure from the cabinet, Chirac wanted to gain the leadership of the political right, in order to gain the French presidency in the future. The RPR was conceived as an electoral machine against President Giscard d'Estaing. Paradoxically, Chirac benefited from Giscard's decision to create the office of mayor in Paris, which had been in abeyance since the 1871 Commune, because the leaders of the Third Republic (1871–1940) feared that having municipal control of the capital would give the mayor too much power. In 1977, Chirac stood as a candidate against Michel d'Ornano, a close friend of the president, and he won. As mayor of Paris, Chirac's political influence grew. He held this post until 1995.
Chirac supporters point out that, as mayor, he provided programmes to help the elderly, people with disabilities, and single mothers, and introduced the street-cleaning Motocrotte, while providing incentives for businesses to stay in Paris. His opponents contend that he installed "clientelist" policies.
In 1978, he attacked the pro-European policy of Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (VGE), and made a nationalist turn with the December 1978 Call of Cochin, initiated by his counsellors Marie-France Garaud and Pierre Juillet, which had first been called by Pompidou. Hospitalised in Cochin hospital after a crash, he declared that "as always about the drooping of France, the pro-foreign party acts with its peaceable and reassuring voice". He appointed Yvan Blot, an intellectual who would later join the National Front, as director of his campaigns for the 1979 European election. After the poor results of the election, Chirac broke with Garaud and Juillet. Vexed Marie-France Garaud stated: "We thought Chirac was made of the same marble of which statues are carved in, we perceive he's of the same faience bidets are made of." His rivalry with Giscard d'Estaing intensified. Although it has been often interpreted by historians as the struggle between two rival French right-wing families (the Bonapartists, represented by Chirac, and the Orleanists, represented by VGE), both figures in fact were members of the liberal, Orleanist tradition, according to historian Alain-Gérard Slama. But the eviction of the Gaullist barons and of President Giscard d'Estaing convinced Chirac to assume a strong neo-Gaullist stance.
Chirac made his first run for president against Giscard d'Estaing in the 1981 election, thus splitting the centre-right vote. He was eliminated in the first round with 18% of the vote. He reluctantly supported Giscard in the second round. He refused to give instructions to the RPR voters but said that he supported the incumbent president "in a private capacity", which was interpreted as almost like de facto support of the Socialist Party's (PS) candidate, François Mitterrand, who was elected by a broad majority.
Giscard has always blamed Chirac for his defeat. He was told by Mitterrand, before his death, that the latter had dined with Chirac before the election. Chirac told the Socialist candidate that he wanted to "get rid of Giscard". In his memoirs, Giscard wrote that between the two rounds, he phoned the RPR headquarters. He passed himself off as a right-wing voter by changing his voice. The RPR employee advised him "certainly do not vote Giscard!" After 1981, the relationship between the two men became tense, with Giscard, even though he had been in the same government coalition as Chirac, criticising Chirac's actions openly.
After the May 1981 presidential election, the right also lost the subsequent legislative election that year. However, as Giscard had been knocked out, Chirac appeared as the principal leader of the right-wing opposition. Due to his attacks against the economic policy of the Socialist government, he gradually aligned himself with prevailing economically liberal opinion, even though it did not correspond with Gaullist doctrine. While the far-right National Front grew, taking advantage of the proportional representation electoral system which had been introduced for the 1986 legislative elections, he signed an electoral pact with the Giscardian (and more or less Christian Democratic) party Union for French Democracy (UDF).
When the RPR/UDF right-wing coalition won a slight majority in the National Assembly in the 1986 election, Mitterrand (PS) appointed Chirac prime minister (though many in Mitterrand's inner circle lobbied him to choose Jacques Chaban-Delmas instead). This unprecedented power-sharing arrangement, known as cohabitation, gave Chirac the lead in domestic affairs. However, it is generally conceded that Mitterrand used the areas granted to the President of the Republic, or "reserved domains" of the Presidency, Defence and Foreign Affairs, to belittle his Prime Minister.
Chirac's cabinet sold many public companies, renewing the liberalisation initiated under Laurent Fabius's Socialist government of 1984–1986, and abolished the solidarity tax on wealth (ISF), a symbolic tax on those with high value assets introduced by Mitterrand's government. Elsewhere, the plan for university reform (plan Devaquet) caused a crisis in 1986 when a student called Malik Oussekine was killed by the police, leading to massive demonstrations and the proposal's withdrawal. It has been said during other student crises that this event strongly affected Jacques Chirac, who was afterwards careful about possible police violence during such demonstrations (e.g., maybe explaining part of the decision to "promulgate without applying" the First Employment Contract (CPE) after large student demonstrations against it).
One of his first acts concerning foreign policy was to call back Jacques Foccart (1913–1997), who had been de Gaulle's and his successors' leading counsellor for African matters, called by journalist Stephen Smith the "father of all "networks" on the continent, at the time [in 1986] aged 72." Jacques Foccart, who had also co-founded the Gaullist SAC militia (dissolved by Mitterrand in 1982 after the Auriol massacre) along with Charles Pasqua, and who was a key component of the "Françafrique" system, was again called to the Elysée Palace when Chirac won the 1995 presidential election. Furthermore, confronted by anti-colonialist movements in New Caledonia, Prime Minister Chirac ordered a military intervention against the separatists in the Ouvéa cave, leading to several tragic deaths. He allegedly refused any alliance with Jean-Marie Le Pen's Front National.
Chirac ran against Mitterrand for a second time in the 1988 election. He obtained 20 percent of the vote in the first round, but lost the second with only 46 percent. He resigned from the cabinet and the right lost the next legislative election.
For the first time, his leadership over the RPR was challenged. Charles Pasqua and Philippe Séguin criticised his abandonment of Gaullist doctrines. On the right, a new generation of politicians, the "renovation men", accused Chirac and Giscard of being responsible for the electoral defeats. In 1992, convinced a man could not become President whilst advocating anti-European policies, he called for a "yes" vote in the referendum on the Maastricht Treaty, against the opinion of Pasqua, Séguin and a majority of the RPR voters, who chose to vote "no".
While he still was mayor of Paris (since 1977), Chirac went to Abidjan (Côte d'Ivoire) where he supported President Houphouët-Boigny (1960–1993), although the latter was being called a "thief" by the local population. Chirac then declared that multipartism was a "kind of luxury."
Nevertheless, the right won the 1993 legislative election. Chirac announced that he did not want to come back as prime minister, suggesting the appointment of Edouard Balladur, who had promised that he would not run for the presidency against Chirac in 1995. However, benefiting from positive polls, Balladur decided to be a presidential candidate, with the support of a majority of right-wing politicians. Balladur broke from Chirac along with a number of friends and allies, including Charles Pasqua, Nicolas Sarkozy, etc., who supported his candidacy. A small group of "fidels" would remain with Chirac, including Alain Juppé and Jean-Louis Debré. When Nicolas Sarkozy became President in 2007, Juppé was one of the few "chiraquiens" to serve in François Fillon's government.
During the 1995 presidential campaign, Chirac criticised the "sole thought" (pensée unique) of neoliberalism represented by his challenger on the right and promised to reduce the "social fracture", placing himself more to the centre and thus forcing Balladur to radicalise himself. Ultimately, he obtained more votes than Balladur in the first round (20.8 percent), and then defeated the Socialist candidate Lionel Jospin in the second round (52.6 percent).
Chirac was elected on a platform of tax cuts and job programmes, but his policies did little to ease the labour strikes during his first months in office. On the domestic front, neo-liberal economic austerity measures introduced by Chirac and his conservative prime minister Alain Juppé, including budgetary cutbacks, proved highly unpopular. At about the same time, it became apparent that Juppé and others had obtained preferential conditions for public housing, as well as other perks. At the year's end Chirac faced major workers' strikes which turned itself, in November–December 1995, into a general strike, one of the largest since May 1968. The demonstrations were largely pitted against Juppé's plan on the reform of pensions, and led to the dismissal of the latter.
Shortly after taking office, Chirac – undaunted by international protests by environmental groups – insisted upon the resumption of nuclear tests at Mururoa Atoll in French Polynesia in 1995, a few months before signing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Reacting to criticism, Chirac said, "You only have to look back at 1935...There were people then who were against France arming itself, and look what happened." On 1 February 1996, Chirac announced that France had ended "once and for all" its nuclear testing, intending to accede to the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
Elected as President of the Republic, he refused to discuss the existence of French military bases in Africa, despite requests by the Ministry of Defence and the Quai d'Orsay (Ministry of Foreign Affairs). The French Army thus remained in Côte d'Ivoire as well as in Omar Bongo's Gabon.
Prior to 1995, the French government had maintained that the French Republic had been dismantled when Philippe Pétain instituted a new French State during World War II and that the Republic had been re-established when the war was over. It was not for France, therefore, to apologise for the roundup of Jews for deportation that happened while the Republic had not existed and was carried out by a state, Vichy France, which it did not recognise. President François Mitterrand had reiterated this position: "The Republic had nothing to do with this. I do not believe France is responsible," he said in September 1994.
Chirac was the first President of France to take responsibility for the deportation of Jews during the Vichy regime. In a speech made on 16 July 1995 at the site of the Vel' d'Hiv Roundup, where 13,000 Jews had been held for deportation to concentration camps in July 1942, Chirac said, "France, on that day, committed the irreparable". Those responsible for the roundup were "4500 policemen and gendarmes, French, under the authority of their leaders [who] obeyed the demands of the Nazis. ... the criminal folly of the occupiers was seconded by the French, by the French State".
In 1997, Chirac dissolved parliament for early legislative elections in a gamble designed to bolster support for his conservative economic program. But instead, it created an uproar, and his power was weakened by the subsequent backlash. The Socialist Party (PS), joined by other parties on the left, soundly defeated Chirac's conservative allies, forcing Chirac into a new period of cohabitation with Jospin as prime minister (1997–2002), which lasted five years.
Cohabitation significantly weakened the power of Chirac's presidency. The French president, by a constitutional convention, only controls foreign and military policy— and even then, allocation of funding is under the control of Parliament and under the significant influence of the prime minister. Short of dissolving parliament and calling for new elections, the president was left with little power to influence public policy regarding crime, the economy, and public services. Chirac seized the occasion to periodically criticise Jospin's government.
Nevertheless, his position was weakened by scandals about the financing of RPR by Paris municipality. In 2001, the left, represented by Bertrand Delanoë (PS), won a majority on the city council of the capital. Jean Tiberi, Chirac's successor at the Paris city hall, was forced to resign after having been put under investigations in June 1999 on charges of trafic d'influences in the HLMs of Paris affairs (related to the illegal financing of the RPR). Tiberi was finally expelled from the Rally for the Republic, Chirac's party, on 12 October 2000, declaring to the Figaro magazine on 18 November 2000: "Jacques Chirac is not my friend anymore". After the publication of the Jean-Claude Méry by Le Monde on 22 September 2000, in which Jean-Claude Méry, in charge of the RPR's financing, directly accused Chirac of organizing the network, and of having been physically present on 5 October 1986, when Méry gave in cash 5 million Francs, which came from companies who had benefited from state deals, to Michel Roussin, personal secretary (directeur de cabinet) of Chirac, Chirac refused to attend court in response to his summons by judge Eric Halphen, and the highest echelons of the French justice system declared that he could not be inculpated while in office.
During his two terms, he increased the Elysee Palace's total budget by 105 percent (to €90 million, whereas 20 years before it was the equivalent of €43.7 million). He doubled the number of presidential cars – to 61 cars and seven scooters in the Palace's garage. He has hired 145 extra employees – the total number of the people he employed simultaneously was 963.
As the Supreme Commander of the French armed forces, he reduced the French military budget, as did his predecessor. At the end of his first term it accounted for three percent of GDP. In 1998 the French aircraft carrier Clemenceau (R98) was decommissioned after 37 years of service, and another aircraft carrier was decommissioned two years later after 37 years of service, leaving the French Navy with no aircraft carrier until 2001, when Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier was commissioned. He also reduced expenditures on nuclear weapons and the French nuclear arsenal was reduced to include 350 warheads, compared to the Russian nuclear arsenal that consists of 16,000 warheads. He also published a plan which assumes reducing the number of fighters the French military has by 30.
After François Mitterrand left office in 1995, Chirac began a rapprochement with NATO by joining the Military Committee and attempting to negotiate a return to the integrated military command, which failed after the French demand for parity with the United States went unmet. The possibility of a further attempt foundered after Chirac was forced into cohabitation with a Socialist-led cabinet between 1997–2002, then poor Franco-American relations after the French UN veto threat over Iraq in 2003 made transatlantic negotiations impossible.
On July 25, 2000, as Chirac and the first lady were returning from the G7 Summit in Okinawa, Japan, they were nearly killed by Air France Flight 4590 after they landed at Charles de Gaulle International Airport. The first couple were in an Air France Boeing 747 taxiing toward the terminal when the jet had to stop and wait for Flight 4590 to take off. The departing plane, an Aérospatiale-BAC Concorde, ran over a strip of metal on takeoff that punctured its left fuel tank and sliced electrical wires near the left landing gear. The sequence of events ignited a massive fire and caused the Concorde to veer left on its takeoff roll. As it reached takeoff speed and lifted off the ground, it came within 30 feet of hitting Chirac's 747. The now famous photograph of Flight 4590 ablaze, the only picture taken of the Concorde on fire, was snapped by passenger Toshihiko Sato on Chirac's jetliner.
At the age of 69, Chirac faced his fourth presidential campaign in 2002. He received 20% of the vote in the first ballot of the presidential elections in April 2002. It had been expected that he would face incumbent prime minister Lionel Jospin (PS) in the second round of elections; instead, Chirac faced controversial far right politician Jean-Marie Le Pen of National Front (FN) who came in 200,000 votes ahead of Jospin. All parties outside the National Front (except for Lutte ouvrière) called for opposing Le Pen, even if it meant voting for Chirac. The 14-day period between the two rounds of voting was marked by demonstrations against Le Pen and slogans such as "Vote for the crook, not for the fascist" or "Vote with a clothespin on your nose". Chirac won re-election by a landslide, with 82 percent of the vote on the second ballot. However, Chirac became increasingly unpopular during his second term. According to a July 2005 poll, 32 percent judged Chirac favourably and 63 percent unfavorably. In 2006, The Economist wrote that Chirac "is the most unpopular occupant of the Elysée Palace in the fifth republic's history."
As the left-wing Socialist Party was in thorough disarray following Jospin's defeat, Chirac reorganised politics on the right, establishing a new party – initially called the Union of the Presidential Majority, then the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). The RPR had broken down; a number of members had formed Eurosceptic breakaways. While the Giscardian liberals of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) had moved to the right, the UMP won the parliamentary elections that followed the presidential poll with ease.
Despite past opposition to state intervention the Chirac government approved a €2.8 billion euro aid package to troubled manufacturing giant Alstom. In October 2004, Chirac signed a trade agreement with PRC President Hu Jintao where Alstom was given €1 billion euro in contracts and promises of future investment in China.
On 14 July 2002, during Bastille Day celebrations, Chirac survived an assassination attempt by a lone gunman with a rifle hidden in a guitar case. The would-be assassin fired a shot toward the presidential motorcade, before being overpowered by bystanders. The gunman, Maxime Brunerie, underwent psychiatric testing; the violent far-right group with which he was associated, Unité Radicale, was then administratively dissolved.
Along with Vladimir Putin (Chirac called Vladimir Putin "a personal friend"), Hu Jintao, and Gerhard Schröder, Chirac emerged as a leading voice against George W. Bush and Tony Blair in 2003 during the organisation and deployment of American and British forces participating in a military coalition to forcibly remove the then current government of Iraq controlled by the Ba'ath Party under the leadership of Saddam Hussein which resulted in the 2003–2011 Iraq War. Despite intense British and American pressure, Chirac threatened to veto, at that given point, a resolution in the UN Security Council that would authorise the use of military force to rid Iraq of alleged weapons of mass destruction, and rallied other governments to his position. "Iraq today does not represent an immediate threat that justifies an immediate war", Chirac said on 18 March 2003. Chirac was then the target of various American and British commentators supporting the decisions of Bush and Blair. Future Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin acquired much of his popularity for his speech against the war at the United Nations (UN).
On 19 January 2006, Chirac said that France was prepared to launch a nuclear strike against any country that sponsors a terrorist attack against French interests. He said his country's nuclear arsenal had been reconfigured to include the ability to make a tactical strike in retaliation for terrorism.
In July 2006, the G8 met to discuss international energy concerns. Despite the rising awareness of global warming issues, the G8 focused on "energy security" issues. Chirac continued to be the voice within the G8 summit meetings to support international action to curb global warming and climate change concerns. Chirac warned that "humanity is dancing on a volcano" and called for serious action by the world's leading industrialised nations.
Chirac requested the Landau-report (published in September 2004) and combined with the Report of the Technical Group on Innovative Financing Mechanisms formulated upon request by the Heads of State of Brazil, Chile, France and Spain (issued in December 2004), these documents present various opportunities for innovative financing mechanisms while equally stressing the advantages (stability and predictability) of tax-based models. UNITAID project was born. Today the organisation executive board is chaired by Philippe Douste-Blazy.
On 29 May 2005, a referendum was held in France to decide whether the country should ratify the proposed treaty for a Constitution of the European Union (TCE). The result was a victory for the No campaign, with 55 percent of voters rejecting the treaty on a turnout of 69 percent, dealing a devastating blow to Chirac and the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) party, and to part of the centre-left which had supported the TCE. Following the referendum defeat, Chirac replaced his Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin with Domenique de Villepin. In an address to the nation, Chirac has declared that the new cabinet's top priority would be to curb unemployment, which was consistently hovering above 10 percent, calling for a "national mobilisation" to that effect.
Following major student protests in spring 2006, which followed civil unrest in autumn 2005 after the death of two young boys in Clichy-sous-Bois, one of the poorest French communes located in Paris' suburbs, Chirac retracted the proposed First Employment Contract (CPE) by "promulgating [it] without applying it", an unheard-of – and, some claim, illegal – move intended to appease the protesters while giving the appearance of not making a volte-face regarding the contract, and therefore to continue his support for his Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.
In early September 2005, he suffered an event that his doctors described as a 'vascular incident'. It was reported as a 'minor stroke' or a mini-stroke (also known as a transient ischemic attack). He recovered and returned to his duties soon after.
In a pre-recorded television broadcast aired on 11 March 2007, Jacques Chirac announced, in a widely predicted move, that he would not choose to seek a third term as France's president. (In 2000 the constitution had been amended to reduce the length of Presidents' terms to five years, so Chirac's second term was shorter than his first.) "My whole life has been committed to serving France, and serving peace", Chirac said, adding that he would find new ways to serve France after leaving office. He did not explain the reasons for his decision. Chirac did not, during the broadcast, endorse any of the candidates running for election, but did devote several minutes of his talk to a plea against extremist politics that was considered a thinly disguised invocation to voters not to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen and a recommendation to Nicolas Sarkozy not to orient his campaign so as to include themes traditionally associated with Le Pen.
Shortly after leaving office, he launched the Fondation Chirac in June 2008. Since then it has been striving for peace through five advocacy programmes: conflict prevention, access to water and sanitation, access to quality medicines and healthcare, access to land resources, and preservation of cultural diversity. It supports field projects that involve local people and provide concrete and innovative solutions. Chirac chairs the jury for the Prize for Conflict Prevention awarded every year by his foundation.
As a former President, he is entitled to a lifetime pension and personal security protection, and is ex-officio a member for life of France's constitutional council. He sat for the first time on the Council on 15 November 2007, six months after leaving the French Presidency. Immediately after Sarkozy's victory, Chirac moved into a 180 square metre duplex on the Quai Voltaire in Paris lent to him by the family of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. During the Didier Schuller affair, the latter accused Hariri of having participated in illegal funding of the RPR's political campaigns, but the judge closed the case without further investigations.
In Volume 2 of his memoirs published in June 2011, Chirac mocked his successor Nicolas Sarkozy as "irritable, rash, impetuous, disloyal, ungrateful, and un-French". Chirac wrote that he considered firing Sarkozy previously, and conceded responsibility in allowing Jean-Marie Le Pen to advance in 2002.
A poll conducted in 2010 suggested he was the most admired political figure in France, while Sarkozy was 32nd.
On 11 April 2008, Chirac's office announced that he had undergone successful surgery to fit a pacemaker. In January 2009, it was reported that Chirac had been hospitalised after being attacked by his pet Maltese poodle. According to Chirac's wife Bernadette, the dog, named Sumo, had a history of unpredictable and vicious behaviour, and had previously been medicated with antidepressants in an attempt to control it.
Chirac is losing memory and suffers from a frail health. As President, he suffered a stroke in 2005. In February 2014 he was admitted to hospital because of pains related to gout. On 10 December 2015, Chirac was hospitalized in Paris for undisclosed reasons, although his state of health didn't "give any cause for concern", he remained for about a week in ICU. According to his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux, Chirac was again hospitalised in Paris with a lung infection on 18 September 2016.
Because of Jacques Chirac's long career in visible government positions, he has often been parodied or caricatured: Young Jacques Chirac is the basis of a young, dashing bureaucrat character in the 1976 Asterix comic strip album Obelix and Co., proposing methods to quell Gallic unrest to elderly, old-style Roman politicians. Chirac was also featured in Le Bêbête Show as an overexcited, jumpy character.
Jacques Chirac is a favorite character of Les Guignols de l'Info, a satiric latex puppet show. He was once portrayed as a rather likable, though overexcited, character; however, following the corruption allegations, he has been shown as a kind of dilettante and incompetent who pilfers public money and lies through his teeth. His character for a while developed a superhero alter ego, Super Menteur ("Super Liar") in order to get him out of embarrassing situations. Because of his alleged improprieties, he was lambasted in a song Chirac en prison ("Chirac in prison") by French punk band Les Wampas, with a video clip made by the Guignols.
At the invitation of Saddam Hussein (then vice-president of Iraq, but de facto dictator), Chirac made an official visit to Baghdad in 1975. Saddam approved a deal granting French oil companies a number of privileges plus a 23-percent share of Iraqi oil. As part of this deal, France sold Iraq the Osirak MTR nuclear reactor, designed to test nuclear materials.
The Israeli Air Force alleged that the reactor's imminent commissioning was a threat to its security, and pre-emptively bombed the Osirak reactor on 7 June 1981, provoking considerable anger from French officials and the United Nations Security Council.
The Osirak deal became a controversy again in 2002–2003, when an international military coalition led by the United States invaded Iraq and forcibly removed Hussein's government from power. France led several other European countries in an effort to prevent the invasion. The Osirak deal was then used by parts of the American media to criticise the Chirac-led opposition to starting a war in Iraq, despite French involvement in the Gulf War.
Chirac has been named in several cases of alleged corruption that occurred during his term as mayor, some of which have led to felony convictions of some politicians and aides. However, a controversial judicial decision in 1999 granted Chirac immunity while he was president of France. He refused to testify on these matters, arguing that it would be incompatible with his presidential functions. Investigations concerning the running of Paris's city hall, the number of whose municipal employees increased by 25% from 1977 to 1995 (with 2,000 out of approximately 35,000 coming from the Corrèze region where Chirac had held his seat as deputy), as well as a lack of financial transparency (marchés publics) and the communal debt, were thwarted by the legal impossibility of questioning him as president. The conditions of the privatisation of the Parisian water system acquired very cheaply by the Générale and the Lyonnaise des Eaux, then directed by Jérôme Monod, a close friend of Chirac, were also criticised. Furthermore, the satirical newspaper Le Canard enchaîné revealed the astronomical "food expenses" paid by the Parisian municipality (€15 million a year according to the Canard), expenses managed by Roger Romani (who allegedly destroyed all archives of the period 1978–93 during night raids in 1999–2000). Thousands of people were invited each year to receptions in the Paris city hall, while many political, media and artistic personalities were hosted in private flats owned by the city.
Chirac's immunity from prosecution ended in May 2007, when he left office as president. In November 2007 a preliminary charge of misuse of public funds was filed against him. Chirac is said to be the first former French head of state to be formally placed under investigation for a crime. On 30 October 2009, a judge ordered Chirac to stand trial on embezzlement charges, dating back to his time as mayor of Paris.
On 7 March 2011, he went on trial on charges of diverting public funds, accused of giving fictional city jobs to twenty-eight activists from his political party while serving as the mayor of Paris (1977–95). Along with Chirac, nine others stood trial in two separate cases, one dealing with fictional jobs for 21 people and the other with jobs for the remaining seven. The President of Union for a Popular Movement, who later served as France's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alain Juppé, was sentenced to a 14-month suspended prison sentence for the same case in 2004.
On 15 December 2011, Chirac was found guilty and given a suspended sentence of two years. He was convicted of diverting public funds, abuse of trust and illegal conflict of interest. The suspended sentence meant he did not have to go to prison, and took into account his age, health, and status as a former head of state. He did not attend his trial, since medical doctors deemed that his neurological problems damaged his memory. His defence team decided not to appeal.
During April and May 2006, Chirac's administration was beset by a crisis as his chosen Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, was accused of asking Philippe Rondot, a top level French spy, for a secret investigation into Villepin's chief political rival, Nicolas Sarkozy, in 2004. This matter has been called the second Clearstream Affair. On 10 May 2006, following a Cabinet meeting, Chirac made a rare television appearance to try to protect Villepin from the scandal and to debunk allegations that Chirac himself had set up a Japanese bank account containing 300 million francs in 1992 as Mayor of Paris. Chirac said that "The Republic is not a dictatorship of rumours, a dictatorship of calumny."
In 1954 Chirac presented The Development of the Port of New-Orleans, a short geography/economic thesis to the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), which he had entered three years before. The 182-page typewritten work, supervised by Professor Jean Chardonnet, is illustrated by photographs, sketches and diagrams.
President of the French Republic: 1995–2007. Reelected in 2002.
Member of the Constitutional Council of France: Since 2007.
Prime minister: 1974–76 (Resignation) / 1986–88.
Minister of Interior: March–May 1974.
Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development: 1972–74.
Minister of Relation with Parliament: 1971–72.
Secretary of State for Economy and Finance: 1968–71.
Secretary of State for Social Affairs: 1967–68.
Member of European Parliament: 1979–80 (Resignation). Elected in 1979.
National Assembly of France
Elected in 1967, reelected in 1968, 1973, 1976, 1981, 1986, 1988, 1993: Member for Corrèze: March–April 1967 (became Secretary of State in April 1967), reelected in 1968, 1973, but he remained a minister in 1976–1986 (became Prime Minister in 1986), 1988–95 (resigned to become President of the French Republic in 1995).
President of the General Council of Corrèze: 1970–1979. Reelected in 1973, 1976.
General councillor of Corrèze: 1968–88. Reelected in 1970, 1976, 1982.
Mayor of Paris: 1977–95 (Resignation, became President of the French Republic in 1995). Reelected in 1983, 1989.
Councillor of Paris: 1977–1995 (Resignation). Reelected in 1983, 1989.
Municipal councillor of Sainte-Féréole: 1965–77. Reelected in 1971.
President of the Rally for the Republic: 1976–94 (Resignation).
(27 May 1974 – 25 August 1976)
(20 March 1986 – 12 May 1988)
|Grand Master & Grand Cross of the National Order of the Legion of Honour|
|Grand Master & Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit|
|Knight of the Order of the Black Star|
|Commandeur of the Order of Agricultural Merit|
|Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres|
|Cross for Military Valour|
|North Africa Security and Order Operations Commemorative Medal|
|Austria||Grand Star of the Decoration of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria|
|Azerbaijan Republic||Collar of the Heydar Aliyev Order|
|Bolivia||Commander of the Order of the Condor of the Andes|
|Brazil||Collar of the Order of the Southern Cross|
|Canada||Knight of the National Order of Quebec|
|Czech Republic||Grand Cross of the Order of the White Lion|
|Estonia||Member 1st Class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana|
|Hungary||Grand Cross with Chain of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary|
|Italy||Knight Grand Cross with Collar Order of Merit of the Italian Republic|
|Latvia||Commander Grand Cross with Chain Order of the Three Stars|
|Lebanon||Grand Cordon of the National Order of the Cedar|
|Lithuania||Grand Cross of the Order of Vytautas the Great|
|Lithuania||Grand Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas|
|Sovereign Military Order of Malta||Civilian Class of the Order pro Merito Melitensi|
|Monaco||Grand Cross of the Order of Saint-Charles|
|Morocco||Grand Cross of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite|
|Norway||Grand Cross of the Order of St. Olav|
|Poland||Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland|
|Poland||Knight of the Order of the White Eagle|
|Portugal||Grand Collar of the Order of Prince Henry|
|Romania||Grand Collar of the Order of the Star of Romania|
|Russia||Member 1st Class of the Order "For Merit to the Fatherland"|
|Russia||Medal "In Commemoration of the 300th Anniversary of Saint Petersburg"|
|Senegal||Grand Cross of the National Order of the Lion|
|South Africa||Grand Cross of the Order of Good Hope|
|Spain||Collar of the Order of Charles III|
|Spain||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic|
|Sweden||Knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim|
|Tunisia||Grand Cordon of the Order of Independence|
|Tunisia||Grand Cordon of the Order of the Republic of Tunisia|
|United Arab Emirates||Collar of the Order of Etihad (Order of the Federation)|
|United Kingdom||Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
|Vatican City||Knight of the Order of Pope Pius IX|
Prime Minister Chirac, whose abrasive manner once earned him the nickname "the Bulldozer,"...
| Minister of Agriculture
| Minister of the Interior
| Prime Minister of France
|New office|| Mayor of Paris
| Prime Minister of France
| President of France
|Party political offices|
| Leader of the Union of Democrats for the Republic
|New political party|| Leader of Rally for the Republic
| Co-Prince of Andorra
Served alongside: Joan Martí Alanis, Joan Enric Vives Sicília
|Catholic Church titles|
| Honorary Canon of the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
| Chairperson of the Group of 7
| Chairperson of the Group of 8
George W. Bush
|Order of precedence|
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
as Former President
| Order of Precedence of France
as Former President
Municipal elections were held in France on 13 and 20 March 1977.
By 1977, President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing had been in power since 1974.
The left-wing coalition of the Communists and Socialists, united under a "government program" swept the elections. Out of 221 cities with over 30,000 inhabitants, the left won 155. The Socialists gained Rennes, Angers, Brest, Nantes, Villeurbanne, Pau, and Cannes. The Communists gained Le Mans, Reims, and Saint-Étienne. For the first time, green parties realized their first breakthroughs.
For the first time since 1789 French Revolution, elections were held to the mayorship of Paris. The former Prime Minister and RPR candidate Jacques Chirac was elected, defeating the Giscardian RI candidate Michel d'Ornano.1983 French municipal elections
Municipal elections were held in France on 6 and 13 March 1983. President Francois Mitterrand and leader of the Socialist Party held power since May 1981.
The left-wing coalition of the Socialists and Communists, in power for only two years, was defeated in the 1983 local elections by the RPR-UDF right-wing opposition. Voter disillusionment with Pierre Mauroy government's tournant de la rigueur ("austerity turn") played a key role in the defeat. The Communists lost Saint-Étienne and Reims, while the PS lost Tourcoing, Grenoble, and Roubaix. They narrowly held Marseille (with Gaston Defferre) against Jean-Claude Gaudin (UDF). In Paris, RPR Leader Jacques Chirac was easily re-elected, sweeping all arrondissements.1986 French legislative election
The French legislative elections took place on 16 March 1986 to elect the eighth National Assembly of the Fifth Republic. Contrary to other legislative elections of the Fifth Republic, the electoral system used was that of party-list proportional representation.
Since the 1981 election of François Mitterrand, the Presidential Majority was divided. In March 1983, Prime Minister Pierre Mauroy renounced the left's radical Common Programme which had been agreed in the 1970s. Wages and prices were frozen. This change of economic policy was justified by the will to stay in the European Monetary System. One year later, the Communist ministers refused to remain in Laurent Fabius' cabinet.
In opposition, the two main right-wing parties tried to forget their past quarrels. They were able to win the mid-term elections (1982 departmental elections, 1983 municipal elections, 1984 European Parliament election) and succeeded in forcing the government to abandon its policy of limiting the financing of private schools in 1984. The Rally for the Republic (RPR), led by Jacques Chirac, abandoned the traditional dirigiste and Eurosceptic Gaullist doctrines about the economy and European integration. It was then able to sign an electoral platform with the Union for French Democracy (UDF). It proposed notably to sell the companies nationalized by President Mitterrand and Pierre Mauroy.
However, France had also witnessed the electoral rise of the National Front (FN). Its leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, made nationalist and xenophobic remarks. He appealed to part of the conservative electorate, notably some RPR voters. The right-wing opposition was divided on the question of an alliance with the FN. In 1985, President Mitterrand's decision to re-establish party-list proportional representation at the legislative election caused political outrage. The RPR/UDF opposition accused him of wanting to strengthen the FN in order to weaken the Republican Right, which was favourite to win according to the polls. Indeed, proportional representation was the only electoral system which was considered likely to allow the election of FN deputies.
While the polls indicated a win by the RPR/UDF coalition, the former UDF Prime minister Raymond Barre argued that the next parliamentary majority should refuse to govern if President Mitterrand did not resign. Advised by Edouard Balladur, Jacques Chirac noted, however, that impeachment did not exist in the French Constitution. Instead, the next majority would "cohabit" with Mitterrand. The right-wing cabinet would enforce its domestic policy programme and Mitterrand would keep control of foreign and military affairs.
Eventually, the RPR/UDF coalition obtained only a two-seat majority. Consequently, for the first time of the history of the Fifth Republic, the parliamentary majority was opposed to the President. Nevertheless, the Socialist Party held more seats than the polls had indicated. The FN was able to form a parliamentary group with its 35 elected members. The decline of the French Communist Party continued. Mitterrand nominated Chirac as Prime Minister. The first "cohabitation" of the Fifth Republic started. The new cabinet abolished proportional representation for the next legislative elections. The "cohabitation" ended with the 1988 legislative election.1988 French presidential election
Presidential elections were held in France on 24 April and 8 May 1988.
In 1981, the Socialist Party leader, François Mitterrand, was elected President of France and the Left won the legislative election. However, in 1986, the right regained a parliamentary majority. President Mitterrand was forced to "cohabit" with a conservative cabinet led by the RPR leader Jacques Chirac. Chirac took responsibility for domestic policy while the President focused on his "reserved domain" – foreign affairs and defense policy. Moreover, several other prominent candidates opposed the two heads of the executive.
Chirac's cabinet advocated liberal-conservative policies, in abolishing the solidarity tax on wealth and selling some public companies. It was faced with opposition from social movements, supported covertly by President Mitterrand.
Meanwhile, the leadership of Chirac over the right was challenged by the former UDF Prime Minister Raymond Barre. Barre gained some popularity by condemning the principle of the "cohabitation", claiming that it is incompatible with the "spirit of the Fifth Republic". He appeared as an alternative to the executive duo. In January 1988, when he announced his candidacy, Chirac was credited with 19.5% in the first round by SOFRES polls institute, against 23% for Barre. But, from the start of February, Chirac benefited from the internal divisions in the UDF, and took the lead among the right-wing candidates.
On the left, the identity of the Socialist candidate was uncertain. Mitterrand said he was not sure he would run, and meanwhile, his internal rival Michel Rocard campaigned for the nomination. The favourite to win the election according to the polls, the incumbent president announced his candidacy at the end of March. He wrote an open letter to the French, where he proposed a moderate programme ("neither nationalisations, nor privatizations") and advocated a "united France" against "the appropriation of the state by a clan", targeting Chirac and the RPR.
He benefited from the decline of the French Communist Party, represented by André Lajoinie. Lajoinie was faced with competition for the far-left vote by a "reforming Communist", Pierre Juquin and a Trotskyist, Arlette Laguiller. Meanwhile, the Ecologist Antoine Waechter refused to ally the Greens with either the left or the right. On the far-right, the National Front leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen, tried to confirm the FN's good result in the previous legislative election.
The French economy shrugging off the early 1980s recession with 4% growth that year put the economy off the minds of voters as well as popular social programs being implemented, both of which gave Mitterrand the economic argument to achieve a second term despite the fallback in the last legislative election that caused cohabitation.1995 French municipal elections
Municipal elections were held in France on 11 and 18 June 1995, more or less than one month after Jacques Chirac's election.
The far-right National Front elected 3 mayors in Provence: Toulon, Orange, Marignane. It was the first time the far-right led an executive alone. In other races, Jean Tiberi (RPR) succeeded Jacques Chirac as Mayor of Paris. In Marseille, the UDF-Republican Jean-Claude Gaudin succeeded the socialist Gaston Defferre. In Lyon, former UDF Prime Minister Raymond Barre succeeded to another right-wing incumbent mayor.1995 French presidential election
Presidential elections took place in France on 23 April and 7 May 1995, to elect the fifth president of the Fifth Republic.
The Socialist incumbent president, François Mitterrand, who had been in office since 1981, did not stand for a third term. He was 78, had terminal cancer, and his party had lost the 1993 legislative election in a landslide defeat. Since then, he had been "cohabiting" with a right-wing cabinet led by Prime Minister Edouard Balladur, a member of the neo-Gaullist RPR party. Balladur had promised the RPR leader, Jacques Chirac, that he would not run for the presidency, but as polls showed him doing well and he had the support of many right-wing politicians, he decided to run. The competition within the right between Balladur and Chirac was a major feature of the campaign.
Meanwhile, the left was weakened by scandals and disappointments regarding Mitterrand's presidency along with the Unemployment rate hovering around 10%. In June 1994, former Prime Minister Michel Rocard was dismissed as leader of the Socialist Party (PS) after the party's poor showing in the European Parliament elections. Then, Jacques Delors decided not to stand as a candidate because he disagreed with the re-alignment on the left orchestrated by new party leader Henri Emmanuelli. This left the field wide open for numerous potential candidacies: among those who are known to have considered a run, or were strongly urged by others, are Jack Lang, Pierre Joxe, Laurent Fabius, Ségolène Royal and Robert Badinter. Former party leader and education minister Lionel Jospin was chosen by PS members as the party's candidate in a primary election pitting him against Emmanuelli. He promised to restore the credibility and moral reputation of his party, but his chances of winning were seen as being thin. The economy was also still struggling with a depression which began in mid-1990, and the government's policies were widely blamed for both the recession and its slow recovery.
The French Communist Party (PCF) tried to stop its electoral decline. Its new leader Robert Hue campaigned against "king money" and wanted to represent a renewed communism. He was faced with competition for the far left vote by the Trotskyist candidacy of Arlette Laguiller, who ran for the fourth time. Both of these candidates had a better result than their parties had in 1988, but came nowhere near being able to participate in the next round. In choosing Dominique Voynet, the Greens opted for their integration with the left.
On the far-right, Jean-Marie Le Pen tried to repeat his surprising result that he obtained in the 1988 presidential election. His main rival for the far-right vote was Philippe de Villiers, candidate of the eurosceptic parliamentary right. Both candidates primarily focused over the financial situation.
In January 1995, when he announced his candidacy, Balladur was the favourite of the political right. According to the SOFRES polls institute, he held an advantage of 14 points over Chirac (32% against 18% for the first round). He took advantage of his "positive assessment" as Prime Minister and advocated a moderately liberal economic policy. Chirac denounced the "social fracture" and criticised the "dominant thought", targeting Balladur. Chirac argued that "the pay slip is not the enemy of employment". Indeed, unemployment was the main theme of the campaign. From the start of March, Chirac gained ground on Balladur in the polls.
Another factor that contributed to Balladur's fall in popularity was the revelation of a bugging scandal which had implicated Balladur.Chirac's campaign slogan was "La France pour tous" ("France for everyone"); Balladur's "Believe in France"; and Jospin's "A clear vote for a more just France".2002 in France
Events from the year 2002 in France.Anh Dao Traxel
Anh Dao Traxel (Vietnamese spelling: Anh Đào Traxel, born Dương Anh Đào) (Born c. 1958 in South Vietnam) is the foster daughter of former French President Jacques Chirac. She was a boat-person refugee, and met Jacques Chirac at Roissy Airport in 1979. He told her "Don’t cry, ma chérie. You are coming home with us" and took her home. She was then 21 and her adoptive father was 47.She spent two years in the home of the Chiracs. Mrs Traxel was married twice. Her second husband, Emmanuel Traxel, is a police lieutenant. She has four children, Bernard-Jacques, Laurence-Claude, Jacques and Cassandre. The children call Jacques Chirac Grandpa. She is now the President of a European association of assistance to the families of civil servants who died during their service (Étoile européenne du dévouement civil et militaire).Bernadette Chirac
Bernadette Thérèse Marie Chirac (born Bernadette Thérèse Marie Chodron de Courcel; 18 May 1933) is a French politician and the wife of the former President Jacques Chirac.
She and Chirac met as students at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (better known as Sciences Po) and were married 16 March 1956. They have two children: Laurence (born 4 March 1958, deceased 14 April 2016) and Claude Chirac (born 6 December 1962), and a Vietnamese foster-daughter, Anh Đào Traxel.
Since 2001, Bernadette has been the patron of "Pièces Jaunes" (spare change), a charity that helps children in French hospitals by collecting small donations. On 3 September 2007, she became the president of the "Fondation Claude-Pompidou" (Claude Pompidou Foundation), following the death Claude Pompidou, a former First Lady of France.
She was involved in her husband's successful 1995 presidential campaign and her personal popularity saw her play an important role as First Lady in her husband's reelection in 2002. She was also an councillor in Corrèze, the couple's home département.Claude Chirac
Claude Chirac, (born 6 December 1962), the youngest daughter of French president Jacques Chirac, has been her father's personal advisor since 1994.Dans la peau de Jacques Chirac
Dans la peau de Jacques Chirac is a 2006 film by Karl Zero and Michel Royer. It has been produced by the same team which produced March of the Penguins.
It is a mockumentary which is a kind of unauthorized biography of Jacques Chirac, based on archival footage, and told at the first person (the voice of the French president is provided by imitator Didier Gustin). The main comic effect comes from the contradictions between the various speeches of the French President.
The title comes from the title of the French-language version of Being John Malkovich.Fondation Chirac
The Fondation Chirac was launched by former French President Jacques Chirac, after having served two terms in office between 1995 and 2007.
Since 2008, this foundation strives for peace through five advocacy programmes:
access to water and sanitation
access to quality medicines and healthcare
access to land resources
and preservation of cultural diversityIt supports field projects involving local people with innovative solutions. The Fondation Chirac has also awarded the Prize for Conflict Prevention every year since 2009.The foundation's stated priorities include combating falsified medicines, deforestation and desertification, and helping to preserve endangered languages and cultures. The "Sorosoro programme" took its name from an Araki word for "breath, speech, language". The endangered Araki language, in Vanuatu, was spoken by then by only eight people, and the programme's stated objective was to "participate actively in the struggle for the preservation and revitalisation of these endangered languages".French order of precedence
The French order of precedence is a symbolic hierarchy of officials in the Government of France used to direct protocol.
The current order of precedence was established by presidential decree number 89-655 of September 13, 1989.
The President of the Republic (Emmanuel Macron)
The Prime Minister (Édouard Philippe)
The President of the Senate (Gérard Larcher)
The President of the National Assembly (Richard Ferrand)
Former Presidents of the Republic, in order of term
Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
The Government (Ministers forming the Government), in the order decided by the President of the Republic
Former Prime Ministers, in order of term (note that Jacques Chirac, who would otherwise appear in this list, already appears above as a former President)
Dominique de Villepin
The President of the Constitutional Council (Laurent Fabius, ranks higher as former Prime Minister)
The Vice President of the Conseil d'État (Jean-Marc Sauvé)
The President of the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Jean-Paul Delevoye)
The Defender of rights (Jacques Toubon)
Members of the National Assembly
European parliament members
The judicial authority represented by the first President of the Court of Cassation (Vincent Lamanda) and the public prosecutor of that court (Jean-Louis Nadal)
The first President of the Revenue Court (Cour des Comptes) (Didier Migaud) and the public prosecutor of that court
The Great Chancellor of the Légion d'honneur, chancellor of the National Order of Merit (Général Benoît Puga) and the members of the councils of these orders
The Chancellor of the Order of the Libération (Fred Moore), and the members of the council of this order
The Chief of the Defence Staff (Général François Lecointre)The following then apply in Paris
The prefect of the Île-de-France région, prefect of Paris (Michel Delpuech)
The prefect of police, prefect of the Paris defense zone (Michel Delpuech)
The mayor of Paris, president of the Council of Paris (Anne Hidalgo)
The representatives to the European Parliament
The chancellor of the Institute of France, the perpetual secretaries of the French Academy, the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, the Academy of Sciences, of the Académie des beaux-arts and of the Academy of moral and political sciences
The general secretary of the government; the general secretary of national defence; the general secretary of the Ministry of foreign affairs
The president of the administrative court of appeal of Paris (Patrick Frydman); the first president of the Paris court of appeal (Jacques Degrandi) and the general public prosecutor of that court (François Falletti)
The general delegate for weaponry; the general secretary for administration of the Ministry of defence; the chief of staff of the army; the chief of staff of the navy; the chief of staff of the air force; the military governor of Paris, commanding the Île-de-France army region
The president of the high council of broadcasting (CSA) (Olivier Schrameck)
The president of the national commission "computing and freedoms" (CNIL) (Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin)
The president of the concurrence council
Universities of ParisMusée du Président Jacques Chirac
The musée du Président Jacques Chirac (President Jacques Chirac museum), commonly known as musée du Septennat. It's a museum located in Sarran, in the French departement of Corrèze, in the Massif central, 30 km northeast of the city of Tulle. It houses the collection of objects offered to Jacques Chirac during his presidency, a library, as well as a space for temporary exhibitions. It was inaugurated on December 15, 2000 by Jacques Chirac.
The building was designed by Jean-Michel Wilmotte.Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
The Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac (French pronunciation: [myze dy kɛ bʁɑ̃li]) in Paris, France, is a museum featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas. The museum collection has 450,000 objects, of which 3,500 are on display at any given time, in both permanent and temporary thematic exhibits. A selection of objects from the museum is also displayed in the Pavillon des Sessions of the Louvre.
The Quai Branly Museum opened in 2006, and is the newest of the major museums in Paris. It received 1.15 million visitors in 2016. It is jointly administered by the French Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, and serves as both a museum and a center for research. The Musée du quai Branly is located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, on the left bank of the Seine, close to the Eiffel Tower and the Pont de l'Alma. The nearest Paris Métro and RER stations are Alma – Marceau and Pont de l'Alma.NRJ 12
NRJ 12 (pronounced [ɛn ɛʁ ʒi duz], sounding like énergie, "energy") is a French free-to-air television network launched in 2005. It is owned by NRJ Group, which had invested in the French musical channel TV6 in February 1986, alongside Gilbert Gross, Gaumont and Publicis. The station had to stop broadcasting on 28 February 1987 after the French government headed by Jacques Chirac gave the licence to M6.
The new venture was originally called NRJ TV.
NRJ has developed NRJ 12 brand further by launching HD and 3D versions of the channel.Pari Saberi
Pari Saberi (Persian: پری صابری, born 21 March 1932 in Kerman) is an Iranian drama and theatre director and Knight of the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, awarded by French President Jacques Chirac.
She studied at Vaugirard Cinematography College which is one of the famous cinematographic higher education institutes of France.Rally for the Republic
The Rally for the Republic (French: Rassemblement pour la République French pronunciation: [ʁa.sɑ̃.blə.mɑ̃.puʁ.la.ʁe.pyˈblik]; RPR French pronunciation: [ɛr.peˈɛr]), was a Neo-Gaullist and conservative political party in France. Originating from the Union of Democrats for the Republic (UDR), it was founded by Jacques Chirac in 1976 and presented itself as the heir of Gaullist politics. On 21 September 2002, the RPR was merged into the Union for the Presidential Majority, later renamed the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP).Saint-Malo declaration
The Saint-Malo declaration was a document signed in December 1998 by British prime minister Tony Blair and French President Jacques Chirac, who met to advance the creation of a European security and defense policy, including a European military force capable of autonomous action. The summit where the document was signed took place at the French coastal resort of Saint-Malo.The Saint-Malo declaration was a response to the armed conflict in Kosovo in the late 1990s, in which the international community, and especially the European Union and its member states, were perceived to have failed to intervene to stop the conflict. A year later, as a direct consequence of the Saint-Malo summit, a "Headline Goal" was formulated in Helsinki, setting 2003 as a target date for the creation of a European force of up to 60,000 troops.
Recognized as Francia from 481 to 843 – Recognized as West Francia from 843 to 987 – Recognized as France from 987 to present
Styled President of the Republic after 1871, except from 1940 to 1944 (Chief of State) and 1944 to 1947 (Chairman of the Provisional Government).
Detailed monarch family tree | Simplified monarch family tree
Robertians and Bosonids (751–987)
|House of Capet (987–1328)|
|House of Valois (1328–1589)|
|House of Lancaster (1422–1453)|
|House of Bourbon (1589–1792)|
|First Republic (1792–1804)|
|First Empire (1804–1815)|
|Bourbon Restoration (1815–1830)|
|July Monarchy (1830–1848)|
|Second Republic (1848–1852)|
|Second Empire (1852–1870)|
|Government of National Defense (1870–1871)|
|Third Republic (1871–1940)|
|Vichy France (1940–1944)|
|Provisional Government (1944–1947)|
|Fourth Republic (1947–1958)|
|Fifth Republic (1958–present)|
Debatable or disputed rulers are in italics. Acting heads of state are denoted by an asterisk*. Millerand held the presidency in an acting capacity before being fully elected.
Candidates in the 1981 French presidential election
|Lost in runoff|
Candidates in the 1988 French presidential election
|Lost in runoff|
Candidates in the 1995 French presidential election
|Lost in runoff|
Candidates in the 2002 French presidential election
|Lost in runoff|
Secretaries-general of the Union of Democrats for the Republic
Current members of the Constitutional Council of France
|President of the council|
|former Presidents of the Republic|
inactive, Chirac since March 2011, Sarkozy since January 2013
Nominated by: (P) President of the Republic • (S) president of the Senate • (A) president of the National Assembly