Villepin, Dominique de

Villepin, Dominique de

(Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin) (dômēnēk` märē` fräNswä` rənā` gälo͞ozō` də vēlpăn`), 1953–, French diplomat and government official, b. Rabat, Morocco. Of aristocratic descent, he graduated (1980) from the prestigious École nationale d'administration and served in the foreign ministry and diplomatic service from 1980 to 1995, when he became a senior aide to President ChiracChirac, Jacques René
, 1932–2019, French political leader, president of France (1995–2007), b. Paris. He attended the National School of Administration, joined the civil service, and began his political career in 1961 working for Premier Georges Pompidou.
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. Villepin became foreign minister in 2002 and gained prominence as the principal spokesperson for French opposition to the Bush administration's campaign to win international support for an invasion of Iraq. Appointed interior minister in 2004, he then became premier (2005–7) when 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.
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 resigned after French voters failed to approve the proposed European Union constitution. An attempt to push through a loosening of the labor regulations affecting younger workers provoked widespread demonstrations in early 2006, and in a very public setback Villepin was forced to replace the newly passed law with other legislation. Villepin was also hurt by charges that in 2004 he targeted Nicolas SarkozySarkozy, Nicolas
(Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa) , 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
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 for investigation by the secret service, but in 2010 he was acquitted of complicity in a smear campaign against his party rival.
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