Examining de Villepin


Olivier Guitta, a frequent contributor here, has an op—ed in the Jerusalem Post today about France's Dominique de Villepin, elevated to Prime Minister recently by President Chirac.

Born in 1953 in Morocco, he lived most of his privileged life abroad. He only moved back to France in 1992 and became Chirac's right hand when the latter was elected president in 1995. Then, most famously, he served as foreign minister from 2002 to 2004 and interior minister since 2004.

Interestingly enough, de Villepin is almost unanimously hated in France, starting with France's First Lady. In fact, Bernadette Chirac has nicknamed him "Nero" after the infamous Roman emperor who murdered his own mother, ruled as an autocrat, estranged the upper classes by executing senators and loved poetry — which by the way de Villepin is famous for. He has even alienated his good friends, such as former premier Alain Juppe, who begged Chirac not to pick Villepin.

"You cannot name him," he said. "He will never get the Assembly's support We will have the whole country in the streets in a few months."

Edouard Balladur, another ex—premier from Chirac's party, said about de Villepin: "He lacks a sense of politics. And even common sense."

There is much more. This is a must—read article.

Thomas Lifson   6 20 05