Nicolas Sarkozy booking

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Nicolas Sarkozy was born January 28, 1955 in Paris, France. He studied political science and served
as mayor of Neuilly-sur-Seine for 20 years before entering national French politics. Sarkozy served as
Interior Minister before being elected president in 2007. His term was marked by personal and political
controversy, and he was defeated for reelection in 2012. Nicolas Sarkozy was born on January 28,
1955 to Greek and Hungarian immigrants. He was the second of three children, and his father
abandoned the family when he was a toddler. To support the family, his mother studied and became a
lawyer. He was raised Catholic in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a wealthy suburb of Paris, and he later said that
while growing up, he felt inferior to his wealthier classmates.
Sarkozy’s political career started early. He was elected to his first political office—Municipal Councillor
of Neuilly-sur-Seine—at the age of 22. Six years later, he was elected mayor. He served as mayor for
nearly 20 years, before entering national politics. In addition to serving as mayor, Sarkozy served as
budget minister from 1993 to 1995. When he snubbed President Jacques Chirac in 1995 by
supporting Édouard Balladur for president, however, he lost the position. Although Chirac put his
grudge aside in 2002, and appointed Sarkozy as French minister of the interior, Sarkozy’s tenure in
Chirac’s administration was a bumpy one. The cabinet was reshuffled in 2004, and Sarkozy was
appointed as finance minister. He held this position briefly; when Sarkozy became leader of the Union
for a Popular Movement later that year, he resigned his post, in accordance with an agreement with
Chirac. In 2005, Sarkozy was reappointed as interior minister, without resigning as head of the UMP.
As interior minister, Sarkozy attracted attention during the 2005 Paris riots by referring to
troublemaking youth as “scum” and “rabble,” and stating that the rundown suburbs should be washed
out “with a power hose.”
One of Sarkozy’s first orders of business was to strengthen France’s relationship with the United
States, which had been chilly since Jacques Chirac refused to send troops to Afghanistan. Sarkozy
promised—and delivered—troops to aid in the war, and France rejoined the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization’s military structure in 2009. Almost immediately after entering office, Sarkozy began to
negotiate with Colombian President Álvaro Uribe and the guerilla group Fuerzas Armadas
Revolucionarias de Colombia, in an attempt to secure the release of hostages, particularly Ingrid
Betancourt, a dual French/Colombian citizen. France opposed a military effort and preferred diplomatic
negotiations, but in 2008, Colombian forces, with American guidance, successfully rescued 15
hostages without informing France. In July of 2007, Sarkozy announced that France, along with other
European countries, had obtained the release of the six Bulgarian nurses who had been held in Libya
for more than eight years.
In order to secure their extradition, he signed security, health-care and immigration pacts with
Muammar Gaddafi. He also signed an arms trade agreement, sparking controversy and a criticism that
he had bartered arms for hostages with a “rogue state.” Sarkozy, as well as Bulgarian officials, deny
that the two deals were related. Sarkozy’s environmental policies were more popular. During the 33rd
G8 summit, he announced that France would attempt to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 50
percent by 2050, in an effort to reduce global warming. In 2010, France was ranked No. 1 on Yale
University’s Environmental Performance Index. Historically, the president of the French Republic has
focused on foreign relations; and the nation’s prime minister has focused on domestic policy. Sarkozy,
however, took a more active role in domestic issues. As part of his economic stimulus package, he
reduced the inheritance tax and enacted the TEPA Law, which offered tax cuts to wealthy households.
He also took a tough stance on immigration, and forced mass deportations of the Gypsy (Roma)
population. Additionally, under Sarzoky’s leadership, a new program was enacted to use fingerprints to
profile passengers at airports, and to integrate that database into both the criminal justice and national
security databases.

In 2007, Sarkozy also broke with the Bastille Day tradition of offering amnesty for traffic tickets and
releasing some prisoners from jail—a French custom that was started by Napoleon in 1802, to
commemorate the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution. In protest, public sector
workers went on strike. University protests erupted at the same time, in protest of a polemical law that
Sarkozy had established. Over the five years of his presidency, Sarkozy’s approval ratings fell from
the highest in the country’s history to the lowest, at 26 percent, and he was considered a long-shot for
re-election. He maintained that he would make a comeback and prevail, but in May of 2012, he was
defeated in his bid for re-election by Socialist François Hollande. In his concession speech, Sarkozy
said he assumed “full responsibility for this defeat,” and suggested retiring from the political spotlight.

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