Posted by: Deirdre8** - 9/9/2010
Position: President of the French Republic
Nicolas Sarkozy , born Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa on 28 January 1955) is the 23rd and current President of the French Republic and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra. He assumed the office on 16 May 2007 after defeating the then Socialist Party candidate Ségolène Royal 10 days earlier.
Before his presidency, he was leader of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). Under Jacques Chirac's presidency he served as Minister of the Interior in Jean-Pierre Raffarin's (UMP) first two governments (from May 2002 to March 2004), then was appointed Minister of Finances in Raffarin's last government (March 2004 to May 2005) and again Minister of the Interior in Dominique de Villepin's government (2005–2007).
Sarkozy was also president of the General council of the Hauts-de-Seine department from 2004 to 2007 and mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of France from 1983 to 2002. He was Minister of the Budget in the government of Édouard Balladur (RPR, predecessor of the UMP) during François Mitterrand's last term.
Sarkozy is known for wanting to revitalize the French economy. He has pledged to revive the work ethic, promote new initiatives and fight intolerance. In foreign affairs he has promised a strengthening of the entente cordiale with the United Kingdom and closer cooperation with the United States. He married Carla Bruni on 2 February 2008 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.
During Sarkozy's childhood, his father refused to give his wife's family any financial help, even though he had founded his own advertising agency and had become wealthy. The family lived in a small mansion owned by Sarkozy's grandfather, Benedict Mallah, in the 17th Arrondissement. The family later moved to Neuilly-sur-Seine, one of the wealthiest communes of the Île-de-France région immediately west of the 17th Arrondissement just outside 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, accordingly, 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 classmates. "What made me who I am now is the sum of all the humiliations suffered during childhood", he said later.
Sarkozy was enrolled in the Lycée Chaptal, a state-funded public middle and high school in Paris's 8th arrondissement, where he failed his sixieme. His family then sent him to the Cours Saint-Louis de Monceau, a private Catholic school in the 17th arrondissement, where he was reportedly a mediocre student, but where he nonetheless obtained his baccalauréat in 1973. He enrolled at the Université Paris X Nanterre, where he graduated with a MA in Private law, and later with a DEA degree in Business law. Paris X Nanterre had been the starting place for the May '68 student movement and was still a stronghold of leftist students. Described as a quiet student, Sarkozy soon joined the right-wing student organization, in which he was very active. He completed his military service as a part time Air Force cleaner. After graduating, he entered the Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris, better known as Sciences Po, (1979–1981) but failed to graduate due to an insufficient command of the English language. After passing the bar, he became a lawyer specializing in business and family law.
- Affirmative Action
- Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
He is the first French president to have been born after World War II.
Sarkozy's government issued a decree on 7 August 2007 to generalise a voluntary biometric profiling program of travellers in airports. The program, called 'Parafes', was to use fingerprints