Nicolas Sarkozy born Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa; 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 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 singer-songwriter Carla Bruni on 2 February 2008 at the Élysée Palace in Paris.
Family backgroundSarkozy is a Frenchman of mixed national and ethnic ancestry. He is the son of Pál István Ernő Sárközy de Nagy-Bócsa, a Hungarian aristocrat and Andrée Jeanne "Dadu" Mallah (b. Paris, 12 October 1925), who is of French Catholic and Greek Jewish origin. They were married at Saint-François-de-Sales, Paris XVII, on 8 February 1950 and divorced in 1959.
Early lifeDuring Sarkozy's childhood, his father allegedly 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 of Paris. 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 and taller classmates. "What made me who I am now is the sum of all the humiliations suffered during childhood", he said later.
EducationSarkozy was enrolled in the Lycée Chaptal, a state-funded public middle and high school in Paris's 8th arrondissement, where he failed his sixième. 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 an 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'Études 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, and was one of Silvio Berlusconi's top French advocates.
MarriagesSarkozy married his first wife, Marie-Dominique Culioli, on 23 September 1982; her father was a pharmacist from Vico (a village north of Ajaccio, Corsica). They had two sons, Pierre (born in 1985), now a hip-hop producer, and Jean (born in 1986) now a regional councillor in the city of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. Sarkozy's best man was the prominent right-wing politician Charles Pasqua, later to become a political opponent. Sarkozy divorced Culioli in 1996, although they had already been separated for several years.
Personal wealthSarkozy declared to the Constitutional Council a net worth of €2 million, most of the assets being in the form of life insurance policies As the French President, one of his first actions was to give himself a raise: his yearly salary went from €101,000 to €240,000 (to match his European/French peers). He is also entitled to a mayoral pension as a former mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine. He also receives a yearly council pension as a former member of the council of the Hauts-de-Seine department.
Political careerPresident of the French Republic : Since 2007.
Minister of Budget and government's spokesman : 1993–1995.
Minister of Communication and government's spokesman : 1994–1995.
Minister of State, minister of Interior, of the Internal Security and Local Freedoms : 2002–2004.
Minister of State, minister of Economy, Finance and Industry : March–November 2004 (resignation).
Minister of State, minister of Interior and Planning : 2005–2007 (resignation).
National Assembly of France
Member of the National Assembly of France for Hauts-de-Seine (6th constituency) : 1988–1993 (became minister in 1993) / 1995–2002 (became minister in 2002) / March-June 2005 (became minister in June 2005). Elected in 1988, reelected in 1993, 1995, 1997, 2002, 2005.
Regional councillor of Île-de-France : 1983–1988 (Resignation). Elected in 1986.
President of the General Council of Hauts-de-Seine : 2004–2007 (Resignation, became President of the French Republic in 2007).
Vice-president of the General Council of Hauts-de-Seine : 1986–1988 (Resignation).
General councillor of Hauts-de-Seine : 1985–1988 / 2004–2007 (Resignation, became President of the French Republic in 2007).
Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine : 1983–2002 (Resignation). Reelected in 1989, 1995, and 2001.
Municipal councillor of Neuilly-sur-Seine : 1977–2004 (Resignation). Reelected in 1983, 1989, 1995, and 2001.
President of the Union for a Popular Movement : 2004–2007 (resignation, became President of the French Republic in 2007). Elected in 2004.
President of the Rally for the Republic : April–October 1999.
General secretary of the Rally for the Republic : 1998-1999.
Deputy general secretary of the Rally for the Republic : 1992-1993.