Manuel Valls

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Manuel Valls
Sommet éco franco-chinois-2485 (cropped).jpg
Prime Minister of France
In office
31 March 2014 – 6 December 2016
President François Hollande
Preceded by Jean-Marc Ayrault
Succeeded by Bernard Cazeneuve
Minister of the Interior
In office
16 May 2012 – 1 April 2014
Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault
Preceded by Claude Guéant
Succeeded by Bernard Cazeneuve
Mayor of Évry
In office
18 March 2001 – 24 May 2012
Preceded by Christian Olivier
Succeeded by Francis Chouat
Member of the National Assembly
from Essonne's 1st constituency
Assumed office
19 June 2002
Preceded by Jacques Guyard
Personal details
Born Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti
(1962-08-13) 13 August 1962 (age 55)
Barcelona, Spain
Political party Socialist Party (1980–2017)
Spouse(s) Nathalie Soulié (divorced)
Anne Gravoin (2010–present)
Children 4
Relatives Xavier Valls (Father)
Alma mater Pantheon-Sorbonne University

Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti (French: [manɥɛl vals], Catalan: [mənuˈɛl ˈβaʎs], Spanish: [maˈnwel ˈβals]; born 13 August 1962) is a French politician who was the Prime Minister of France from 2014 until 2016. He was previously Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014, he was a member of the Socialist Party, and was a candidate in their primary for the 2017 presidential election, losing the Socialist nomination in the second round to Benoît Hamon.

Born in Barcelona to a Spanish father and a Swiss mother, Valls was Mayor of Évry from 2001 to 2012 and was first elected to the National Assembly of France in 2002. He is regarded as belonging to the Socialist Party's social liberal wing, sharing common orientations with Blairism.

Early life and family[edit]

Valls' paternal grandfather was the editor-in-chief of a Republican newspaper in Spain, during the Spanish Civil War, he sheltered priests who were fleeing from the Red Terror.[1] After Francisco Franco's victory, he was forced out of his job as editor. Valls' father was the Barcelona-born painter Xavier Valls (1923–2006).[2][3]

In the late 1940s, Xavier Valls moved to Paris and met his future wife, Luisangela Galfetti, a Ticino-born Swiss citizen, the sister of architect Aurelio Galfetti. In 1955, he won the prize for best still life in the third Spanish-American Art Biennial inaugurated by Franco.[4] Valls was born in Barcelona while his parents were there on holiday, he grew up with them at their home in France.

Political career[edit]

In 1980, aged 17, Valls joined the French Socialist Party (PS) to support Michel Rocard. Within the PS, he defended the 'Second left' (La Deuxième gauche), rather than the more pragmatic left of François Mitterrand. (The Second left could be compared to the 1960s 'New Left' – opposed to party lines and bureaucracy, anti-statist, supportive of anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movements worldwide, favouring direct action politics.) While studying history at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Tolbiac campus, he was a member of the UNEF-ID, a progressive students' union.[5]

In 1980, he met two other student supporters of Rocard with whom he became close friends: Alain Bauer (Bauer is the godfather of Valls' second son), and Stéphane Fouks.[6][7][8]

From 1983 to 1986, Valls was a parliamentary attaché for the member for Ardèche, Robert Chapuis; in 1986 he was elected to the regional Council for the Île-de-France and served until 1992. In 1988, he became head of the Socialist Party in Argenteuil-Bezons and deputy mayor, from 1988 to 1991 he was responsible for the functioning of the prime minister's cabinet. From 1991 to 1993 he was an inter-ministerial delegate to the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville; in 1995, he became the Secretary of Communications for the national Socialist Party and in 1997 communications and media relations chief for the prime minister's Cabinet. In 1998 he was elected vice-president of the regional council for Île-de-France, a post which he held until 2002. While vice-president of the regional Council, he was also elected mayor of Évry in 2001, a post he held until 2012; in 2002, he became the deputy for the First Electoral District in Essonne and in 2008, the president of the tri-city jurisdiction of Évry-Centre-Essonne.[9]

In the 2008 elections to choose the head of the Socialist Party, Valls supported the former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal over her former partner François Hollande; Hollande eventually won.[10]

On June 13, 2009, Valls announced his intention to run in the Socialist presidential primary in 2011 for the 2012 election, on 30 June 2009 he founded a political organisation with the slogan "The Left Needs Optimism," to provide legal and financial support the Socialist Primary candidates.[citation needed]

On 7 June 2011, he confirmed his candidacy for the Socialist primary, on the evening of the first primary round, 9 October 2011, Valls achieved only 6% of the vote, just behind Ségolène Royal.[11] He was therefore eliminated, on the night of his defeat, he endorsed François Hollande for the second round. Valls was appointed Minister of the Interior in the Ayrault Cabinet in May 2012.[12]

Valls ran again for the presidential nomination in the 2017 Socialist presidential primary and was widely expected to win. He was upset by left-wing candidate Benoît Hamon, a former education minister who had served under Valls and had quit the cabinet to protest Hollande's policies. Valls was defeated in the second round, in which he received 41% of the vote to Hamon's 58%,[13] despite subsequently promising to support Hamon's candidature, Valls later declared his support for Emmanuel Macron of En Marche!.[14]

Prime Minister and critics[edit]

Valls and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the Munich Security Conference, 2016

In March 2014, following major losses to centre-right and extreme-right political parties in French municipal elections, President François Hollande appointed Valls to the post of Prime Minister, he replaced Jean-Marc Ayrault who had resigned earlier that day.[15][16] The Valls Cabinet was formed on 2 April 2014, consisting of 15 ministers from the Socialist Party and two ministers from the Radical Party of the Left.[citation needed]

After the 2016 Nice attack, he was criticised for saying that "France will have to live with terrorism."[17] French citizens booed him when he joined the memorial for the victims, yelling "murderer" and "resign" at him before the minute of silence for the dead began.[18]

2017 Presidential election[edit]

Valls left office on 6 December 2016 to run in the primaries to be the Socialist candidate in the 2017 presidential election. He was replaced by Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve,[19] he came in second during the first round of the primary on 22 January, behind his ex-Minister of National Education Benoît Hamon. The two candidates advanced to the second round, which was held 29 January;[20] in the second round, the more left-leaning Hamon unexpectedly defeated Valls and became the Socialist Party's nominee.[21]

Post-premiership (since 2016)[edit]

After his loss in the Socialist Party primary, Valls refused to endorse Benoît Hamon, citing the difference in views;[22] in March, Valls announced on BFMTV that he was endorsing Emmanuel Macron.[23]

After Macron's win in the second round of the presidential election, Valls announced that he wanted to run for reelection to the National Assembly under the En Marche! banner,[24] declaring that the Socialist Party was "dead".[25] The Socialist Party has started disciplinary proceedings against Valls, perhaps resulting in his expulsion.[26] En Marche! rejected Valls's application to join, but said it would not oppose him in the election.[27] Valls won reelection as an independent with 50.3% of the vote in the second round, but the result was challenged by his opponent, Farida Amrani of La France Insoumise.[28]

Political beliefs[edit]

Valls is on the right wing of the Socialist Party, with a similar approach to the German and Dutch Social Democratic Parties, during the 2011 presidential primary, he defined himself as "Blairiste" or "Clintonien", and described his position as "in the tradition of Pierre Mendès France, Lionel Jospin and Michel Rocard". As prime minister he openly said that he liked the comparison with the new Italian premier, Matteo Renzi, another thirdway-er.[29][30]

Valls advocates an "economically realistic" political speech without "demagoguery", he voices his dissent in the party by his vision of individual responsibilities ("The new hope that the Left must carry is individual self-realization: to allow everyone to become that which they are"[31]) and his positions against a system where some people live only from national solidarity. Describing himself as "reformist rather than revolutionary," he wants to "reconcile the left to the liberal approach".[30]

Immigration[edit]

In his book To Put the Old Socialism to Rest ... And Finally be Left-Wing, he declared support for immigration "quotas".[citation needed]

On Sunday 9 June 2009, while visiting a market in Évry, of which he was then mayor, he was caught on camera suggesting that the presence of more white people would give a better image of the city.[32]

In October 2013, his stance in the Dibrani case met with high public approval, with a global approval rate of 74% (57% approval rate from the left, and 89% from the right).[33]

Retirement age[edit]

Valls supported the extension of the years of required pension-contribution to 41, as advocated and achieved by the Sarkozy administration, the extension means that due to the maximum mandatory retirement age of 62, only immigrants receiving the right to legally work around the age of 21 would be allowed to receive the pension to which they would have contributed throughout their careers. "The role of the Left is not to deny democratic changes, nor to hide the size of deficits ... The Left can advocate an à la carte pension system and increasing the pay-in period."[34]

Views on religion[edit]

In 2002, as mayor of Évry, he opposed a branch of the national grocery store chain Franprix, located in a predominately Muslim neighbourhood, deciding to sell only halal-certified meat/products and products that do not contain alcohol.[35]

As parliamentarian and interior minister, he took strong stances on secularism, supported crackdowns on the wearing of niqābs in public and defended a nursery which sacked an employee for demanding to wear one at work, he had harsh words for anti-gay marriage protesters.[36] When Catholics protested against "Golgota Picnic", he supported the theatre director in the name of freedom of speech.[37]

When Dieudonné's quenelle gesture became viral in 2013, Valls said he would consider "all legal means" to ban Dieudonné's "public meetings", given that he "addresses in an obvious and insufferable manner the memory of victims of the Holocaust."[38]

Cannabis[edit]

On 12 October 2009, Valls expressed "total disagreement" with a proposal by Daniel Vaillant for decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis, the plan involved depriving traffickers of a source of income. Valls argued, "The question of drugs that produce considerable damage in some neighbourhoods and nourish the underground economy, cannot be handled this way. There is a certain number of rules that cannot be removed."[39]

Terrorism[edit]

Valls said after the 2015 Paris attacks that French society needed a "general mobilisation" against the appeal of "deadly" doctrines,[40] after the 2016 Nice attack Valls said "Times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism, and we must face this together and show our collective sang-froid. France is a great country and a great democracy and we will not allow ourselves to be destabilized."[17] The comments on the Nice attack provoked criticism in France.[41]

Honours[edit]

Political offices[edit]

Governmental functions

  • Prime Minister: 31 March 2014 to 6 December 2016
  • Minister of Interior: May 2012 to March 2014

Elected offices

  • Member of the National Assembly of France for Essonne (1st constituency): 2002–date. Elected in 2002, re-elected in 2007 and 2012, he was replaced by his deputy Carlos Da Silva from 2012 to 2017.
  • Vice-president of the Regional Council of Île-de-France: 1998–2002 (Resignation).
  • Regional councillor of Île-de-France: 1986–2002 (Resignation).
  • Mayor of Évry: 2001–2012 (Resignation). Re-elected in 2008.
  • Municipal councillor of Évry: Since 2001. Re-elected in 2008 and 2014
  • Deputy-mayor of Argenteuil: 1989–1998 (Resignation).

Personal life[edit]

In 1987, Valls married Nathalie Soulié, with whom he had 4 children before divorcing, on 1 July 2010, he married[45] Anne Gravoin, a violinist and winner of the Conservatoire de Paris' prestigious Premier Prix for Violin and Chamber Orchestra.[46][47]

Owing to his family background, Manuel Valls is fluent in French, Spanish, Catalan and Italian,[48] and is distantly related to the Marquesses del Bosch de Arés.[citation needed]

Publications[edit]

  • Les habits neufs de la gauche, éditions Robert Laffont, 2006
  • La laïcité en face, a dialogue with Virginie Malabard, Éditions Desclée de Brouwer, 2005
  • Pour en finir avec le vieux socialisme... et être enfin de gauche, a dialogue with Claude Askolovitch, Robert Laffont, 2008
  • L'Exigence. Paris, France: Éditions Grasset. 2016. 

References[edit]

  1. ^ L'homme qui veut être le Sarko de la gauche, Le Point, #1820, 2 August 2007, pp. 24–27.(in French)
  2. ^ Biographie de Xavier Valls Archived 3 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine. on claude-bernard.com website
  3. ^ Ana María Preckler, Historia del arte universal de los siglos XIX y XX, Editorial Complutense, 2003, vol. II, p. 509; ISBN 9788474917079. (in Spanish)
  4. ^ Ratier, Emmanuel (2014). "Emmanuel Ratier répond aux menteurs de Canal+" (in French). E&R. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.la-croix.com/France/Politique/Les-anciens-Unef-aujourd-pouvoir-dans-situation-inconfortable-2016-03-10-1200745863
  6. ^ Fraysse, Bertrand, "Passeur", challenges.fr, 29 November 2007.(in French)
  7. ^ Tchakaloff, Gaël. "Alain Bauer", Le Nouvel économiste no. 1292. vol. 4. 10 March 2005.(in French)
  8. ^ Alain Bauer and Emmanuel Ratier. "L'écrivain nationaliste: Faits & documents". no. 98. vol 15. 30 October 2000. (in French) describes the relationship between the two men, and the work of Nathalie Soulié, Valls ex-wife, as the secretary for AB Associates, a personal security company founded by Bauer in the 1990s.
  9. ^ "Archives Manuel Valls – mai 2012 – avril 2014/Archives – Ministère de l'Intérieur" (in French). Interieur.gouv.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  10. ^ http://www.rtl.fr/actu/politique/manuel-valls-les-militants-du-ps-doivent-elire-segolene-royal-des-le-premier-tour-2500602
  11. ^ "Les resultats". 
  12. ^ http://www.lefigaro.fr/flash-actu/2012/05/16/97001-20120516FILWWW00668-manuel-valls-ministre-de-linterieur.php
  13. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique (29 January 2017). "French Socialists choose leftwing rebel Benoît Hamon for Élysée fight". The Guardian. 
  14. ^ "French Left on brink of implosion as ex-PM Manuel Valls backs Emmanuel Macron for president". 
  15. ^ "French President Hollande names Valls as new PM". BBC. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  16. ^ "Manuel Valls nommé Premier ministre "de combat"". Libération (in French). 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  17. ^ a b "How the terror attacks have changed life for the French". Financial Times. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016. 
  18. ^ "Attack on Nice: French PM Valls booed at commemoration". BBC. 
  19. ^ Willsher, Kim (6 December 2016). "Bernard Cazeneuve named French PM as Manuel Valls resigns". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  20. ^ "Résultats de la primaire à gauche : Montebourg reconnaît sa défaite et appelle à voter Hamon". Le Monde. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "Benoît Hamon, vainqueur inattendu de la primaire à gauche". Le Monde. 29 January 2017. 
  22. ^ "Manuel Valls s’explique sur son refus de parrainer Benoît Hamon". Le Monde.fr (in French). 2017-03-19. ISSN 1950-6244. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  23. ^ "Subscribe to read". www.ft.com. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  24. ^ "Macron election: French ex-PM Manuel Valls wants to join En Marche". BBC News. 2017-05-09. Retrieved 2017-05-10. 
  25. ^ https://www.ft.com/content/a2544c30-348d-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3
  26. ^ https://www.thelocal.fr/20170510/is-valls-getting-the-boot-from-the-socialist-party
  27. ^ McGuinness, Romina (15 May 2017). "'He’s mean' Ex-French PM Valls hits out as Macron 'refuses' to let him join En Marche". Express. Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  28. ^ Zappi, Sylvia (19 June 2017). "Manuel Valls élu de justesse, Farida Amrani conteste les résultats". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 21 June 2017. 
  29. ^ Frédéric Martel. "Sarkozy/Berlusconi, Valls/Renzi: l'Italie, nouveau modèle de la vie politique française" (in French). Franceinfo.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  30. ^ a b "Manuel Valls aime bien qu'on le compare à Matteo Renzi, beaucoup moins à Napoléon" (in French). Lelab.europe1.fr. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  31. ^ Retraites: Valls appelle à un "pacte national". Retrieved 25 April 2015.(in French)
  32. ^ Megahigh (29 August 2013). "Manuel Valls Raciste Anti Noir". YouTube. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  33. ^ "Opinion poll on "Les Français et l'affaire Leonarda"" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  34. ^ Ira, Kumaran and Lantier, Alex. After French regional election victory: Socialist Party leaders call for austerity policies, World Socialist website, 2 April 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
  35. ^ "A Evry, le maire contre le Franprix halal" (in French). Bladi.net. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  36. ^ Stéphanie Le Bars, "Manuel Valls, partisan d'une « laïcité exigeante", Le Monde, 1 April 2014. (in French)
  37. ^ Eric Martin (10 January 2014). "Quand Valls défendait la liberté d'expression... à propos de Golgota Picnic, une pièce de théâtre antichrétienne" (in French). Ndf.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  38. ^ "France to ban 'anti-Semitic' comedian" (in French). Radio France Internationale. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2015. 
  39. ^ "Cannabis: Valls en "désaccord total" avec la proposition de Vaillant" (in French). Tempsreel.nouvelobs.com. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  40. ^ Kim Willsher. "France to set up a dozen deradicalisation centres". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2016. 
  41. ^ "French PM Valls booed as he attends tribute to Nice victims". Financial Times. 
  42. ^ "Valls-Hollande : histoire d'une rupture annoncée". 6 December 2016. 
  43. ^ http://www.dakaractu.com/DECORATION-Le-Premier-ministre-Francais-Manuel-Valls-eleve-a-la-dignite-du-Grand-croix-dans-l-ordre-du-merite_a118693.html
  44. ^ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509625/2014_Honorary_Awards_-_Final_-_a.pdf
  45. ^ Manuel Valls va se marier en juillet, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 January 2010.(in French)
  46. ^ "La table de chevet de... Manuel Valls", Les Échos, nb60, 15 February 2008, p. 50. (in French)
  47. ^ Manuel Valls ouvre les fenêtres de la musique, Radio classique, 16 May 2008. (in French)
  48. ^ qu'il faut savoir de Manuel Valls, lejdd.fr, 16 May 2012. (in French)

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Christian Olivier
Mayor of Évry
2001–2012
Succeeded by
Francis Chouat
Preceded by
Claude Guéant
Minister of the Interior
2012–2014
Succeeded by
Bernard Cazeneuve
Preceded by
Jean-Marc Ayrault
Prime Minister of France
2014–2016