Thursday, October 15, 2009

Vive la France

“Military HERO!”
Born 1890, Lille of Northern France
Elected 1959-1969
Career highlights:
Founded the Free French Forces in World War II, an underground military force during the Nazi occupation, then serving as a provisional president after the war
His support of the May 1958 Algerian crisis got him elected
Wrote a new constitution freeing Algeria and founding the French Fifth Republic
Oui, c'est vrai: He was president during May 68 and said
"La réforme oui, la chienlit non", "Reform yes, masquerade no," consequently resigning in 1969.

“C’est La Nouvelle France”
Born Montbounif, central France, 1911
Elected 1969-1974 (died in office)
Career highlights:
Best known as De Gualle’s Prime Minister, longest serving Prime Minister
Became president as a consequence of De Gualle’s resignation
Supported the May 1968 efforts
Supported the UK as a European Union member
Responsible for “modern” Paris, such as the Beaubourg Museum (now Centre Pompidou), Les Halles and the Montparnasse Tower
Oui, c'est vrai: Appears to have been scandal free (or very good at privacy, being that he passed the Article 9 privacy law in 1970)

"Descendent of the King"

Born 1926 in Koblenz, Germany
His mother was a great great great illegitimate granddaughter of King Louis XV and his mistress.
Elected 1974-1981
Career highlights:
Best known for his liberal support of divorce and abortion and supporting the TGV.
He initiated the Group Six, now the G-20.
Oui, c'est vrai: He was not reelected and following his presidency was criticized for purchasing an estate his family lost when beheaded during the revolution.

“The Sole Socialist”
Born 1916, Angoulême Southwestern France
Elected 1982-1995
Career Highlights:
Longest running and oldest president
German Prisoner of War in WWII
Only Socialist president of France
Restructured the parliament to be Socialist
Abolished the death penalty
Liberalized the media by first creating the CSA, then allowing private broadcast (Canal +) and legalizing pirate radio
Secured the Chunnel and the creation of La Defense
Oui, c'est vrai: When elected he was diagnosed with cancer but he kept his cancer out of the media by publishing false health reports. In 1993, Liberation revealed the Mitterrand had his headquarters under wiretap to prevent leaks of information,
including his affair and illegitimate daughter

“The Parisian Giuliani”
Born 1932, Paris
Elected 1995-2007
Career highlights:
First a liberal then a right wing
Began as a Socialist working for L’Humanite
Negotiated the May 1968 truce
Mayor of Paris from 1977-95
He advocated the values of the wealthy with lower taxes, lower crime, more privatization of the commerce
Oui, c'est vrai: First served as prime minister in 1974 and negotiated a deal with Irag in 1975, a trade of nuclear testing equipment for oil privileges

“Carla Bruni’s Husband”
Born 1955
Elected 2007-
Career highlights:
Trained under Chirac
Mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France’s wealthiest neighborhood from 1982-2003
Emphasizes improved work ethic
Emphasizes improved foreign relations, mainly the UK and USA
Close relationship with Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH
Oui, c'est vrai: Three marriages and numerous press scandals and press lawsuits, married to model and singer Bruni

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