Sarkozy, Nicolas

Sarkozy, Nicolas

(Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa) (nēkōlä` pōl stāfän` särkōzē` də näzhē'-bōksä`), 1955–, French politician, president of France (2007–12), b. Paris. The son of a minor Hungarian aristocrat who immigrated to France and married the daughter of Greek immigrants, Sarkozy became a lawyer and entered politics as a conservative. He was mayor (1983–2002) of Neuilly, a Paris suburb, and was elected to the National Assembly from the Hauts-de-Seine dept. in 1988 and reelected in 1993, 1995, and 1997.

Sarkozy served in Premier BalladurBalladur, Édouard
, 1929–, French political leader, b. Turkey. He moved to France as a child and grew up in Marseille. A Gaullist and member of the Rally for the Republic, he served under Premier Georges Pompidou in the 1960s and was finance minister under
..... Click the link for more information.
's cabinet as budget minister (1993–94), and as RaffarinRaffarin, Jean-Pierre
, 1948–, French politician. From a political family, he began his career in business and served as a spokesman for a labor minister in the late 1970s before returning to the private sector.
..... Click the link for more information.
's interior minister (2002–4) he gained a reputation for being tough on crime and immigration. A longtime member of the neo-Gaullist Rally for the Republic party (RPR), he joined the new center-right coalition, Union for a Popular Movement (UMP). He was appointed finance minister in 2004, but resigned later that year to become (2004–7) UMP party leader; from 2005 to 2007 he again served as interior minister.

Popular and charismatic, but polarizing as well—especially when he staked out an outspoken law-and-order position in his second stint as interior minister—the energetic Sarkozy has been characterized as a media-savvy American-style politician. In late 2006 he announced his candidacy for the 2007 French presidential race, and he secured the UMP nomination for the post in Jan., 2007. Leading after the first round, he defeated Ségolène RoyalRoyal, Ségolène
(Marie-Ségolène Royal) , 1953–, French politician, b. Dakar, Senegal. A graduate of the École Nationale d'Administration (1980) who worked as a special assistant (1982–88) to President Mitterrand, she was first
..... Click the link for more information.
, the Socialist candidate, in the May runoff to win the presidency. Following the Aug., 2008, Russo-Georgian conflict over South Ossetia, he actively negotiated a cease-fire and Russian withdrawal from Georgia proper. Domestically, he has secured passage of constitutional and social welfare changes, including presidential term limits and a restructuring of the national pension system. An advocate, with Germany's Chancellor MerkelMerkel, Angela
, 1954–, German politician, b. Hamburg as Angela Dorothea Kasner. The daughter of a Lutheran pastor, she grew up in what was then East Germany. She trained as a physicist (Ph.D., Univ.
..... Click the link for more information.
, of a generally conservative response to the eurozone crisis of the early 2010s, emphasizing government austerities to restore fiscal health, he failed to win reelection (2012), losing to Socialist François HollandeHollande, François Gérard Georges,
1954–, French lawyer and politician, president of France (2012–17), b. Rouen. He attended the elite National School of Administration (ENA) and Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).
..... Click the link for more information.
. In 2014 he again was elected UMP party leader; UMP was renamed the Republicans in 2015. In 2016 he resigned as party leader in order to run for president, but lost in the first round of the party's primary. In 2018 he was indicted on charges of illegal financing relating to the 2007 election, and conspiracy charges were added in 2020; he has denied any wrongdoing.


See his autobiographical political manifesto, Testimony (2006, tr. 2007).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Meanwhile, Pal Sarkozy, Nicolas's father, has revealed he's a sex addict who couldn't stop having affairs.