Raymond Barre

Raymond Barre

Infobox Prime Minister
name=Raymond Barre

order=156th Prime Minister of France
7th Prime Minister of the Fifth Republic
term_start=26 August 1976
term_end=21 May 1981
president=Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
predecessor=Jacques Chirac
successor=Pierre Mauroy
order2=Mayor of Lyon
predecessor2=Michel Noir
successor2=Gérard Collomb
order3=2nd European Commissioner for Economic & Financial Affairs
predecessor3=Robert Marjolin
successor3=Wilhelm Haferkamp
birth_date=birth date|1924|4|12|mf=y
birth_place=Saint-Denis, Réunion
death_date=death date and age|df=yes|2007|8|25|1924|4|12
death_place=Paris, France
religion=Roman Catholic

Raymond Octave Joseph Barre (12 April 1924ndash 25 August 2007) was a French centre-right politician and economist. He served as Prime Minister under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing from 1976 until 1981. Candidate for presidency in 1988, he came in third and was eliminated in the first round. He was born in Saint-Denis, in the French overseas department of Réunion.


Professional life

After his education, Raymond Barre was professor of economics at "Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po)".

From 1959 to 1962, he was director of Jean-Marcel Jeanneney's staff, in the ministry of Industry and Trade. Then, in 1967, President De Gaulle chose him as vice-president of the European Commission for Economic & Financial Affairs. He stayed in Brussels until January 1973, serving in the Rey, Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions. Having come back to France, he joined the cabinet as minister of the External Trade in January 1976.


Seven months later, while mostly unknown at that time, President Giscard d'Estaing appointed him Prime minister and Minister of Economy and Finance. He presented him to the French people as "the best economist in France" ( _fr. meilleur économiste de France). Under the Fifth Republic, he was the only person to hold these two offices at the same time. He left the ministry of Economy and Finance in 1978, but stayed as Prime minister until the defeat of Giscard d'Estaing at the 1981 presidential election.

At the head of the cabinet, he was faced with the conflict which divided the parliamentary majority between the "Giscardians" and the Neo-Gaullist Rally for the Republic (RPR) led by his predecessor Jacques Chirac. The right majority unexpectedly won the 1978 legislative election.

Barre was also confronted with an economic crisis. He advocated a strict policy to cut inflation and public spending, and the industrial "restructuring". In the face of trade union opposition, he did not use diplomatic language, mocking "the bearers of banners" ( _fr. les porteurs de pancartes) and he exhorted "instead of grousing, you should work hard".


After his departure from the head of the cabinet, he was elected deputy of Rhône "département" under the label of the Union for French Democracy (UDF). He held his parliamentary seat until 2002.

In the 1980s, he competed for the leadership of the right against Chirac. Believing that the "cohabitation" was incompatible with "Fifth Republic", he let Chirac take the lead of the cabinet after the 1986 legislative election. He ran as UDF candidate for president in the 1988 election, coming in third behind Socialist President François Mitterrand and Neo-Gaullist Prime Minister Chirac. From 1995 to 2001, he was mayor of Lyon. He did not run for a second term.

Raymond Barre was probably the only French politician to have reached such high levels of responsibilities without having ever been an official member or leader of any political party. He always kept some distance with what he considered to be the political "microcosm".

Raymond Barre died on 25 August 2007 at age 83 at the Val-de-Grâce military hospital in Paris [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6963320.stm BBC NEWS, French ex-PM Raymond Barre dies] ] , where he was taken care for heart problems since his transfer from a hospital in Monaco on 11 April 2007 [ [http://www.lemonde.fr/web/article/0,1-0@2-3224,36-894744,0.html LeMonde.fr with AFP] , 11 April 2007] .


On several occasions, Raymond Barre made remarks that were interpreted as antisemitic, or at least supportive of antisemitism. In 1980, when he was prime minister, a bombing was attempted against a synagogue in the rue Copernic, in Paris; however the bomb detonated in the street when the Jews attending shabbat were inside the synagogue, and not when they were out; but as a result some non-Jewish bystanders were killed. Raymond Barre then famously denounced::"A hateful attack which wanted to strike at the Jews who were in that synagogue, and which [instead] struck "innocent French people" who were crossing the street." [TF1, [http://www.ina.fr/archivespourtous/index.php?vue=notice&from=fulltext&full=raymond+barre+fran%E7ais+innocents&num_notice=1&total_notices=1 late evening news] , 3 October 1980] A controversy erupted because Raymond Barre's sentence seemed to imply that the Jews inside the synagogue were guilty of something, or were not French.

On 5 February 2005, Raymond Barre spoke about Bruno Gollnisch, one of the leaders of the controversial Front National party (widely considered to be far-right)::"Gollnisch is a likeable person, he gets sometimes carried away by outrageous speech, but he's a good person." [France Info, "Questions d'info", 5 February 2005]

Later, Barre was criticized for defending the collaborationist Maurice Papon at his trial. He issued the following statement to his accusers:

" I am and have always been on the side of the Holocaust's survivors to condemn barbary and its accomplices" [http://tf1.lci.fr/infos/france/politique/0,,3529697,00-barre-autorite-morale-ternie-par-polemique-.htm ]


Barre's First Government, 27 August 1976 - 30 March 1977

*Raymond Barre - Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance
*Louis de Guiringaud - Minister of Foreign Affairs
*Yvon Bourges - Minister of Defense
*Michel Poniatowski - Minister of the Interior
*Michel d'Ornano - Minister of Industry and Research
*Christian Beullac - Minister of Labour
*Olivier Guichard - Minister of Justice
*René Haby - Minister of Education
*Christian Bonnet - Minister of Agriculture
*Jean-Pierre Fourcade - Minister of Equipment
*Robert Boulin - Minister of Relations with Parliament
*Simone Veil - Minister of Health
*Robert Galley - Minister of Cooperation
*Pierre Brousse - Minister of Commerce and Craft Industry
*André Rossi - Minister of External Commerce
*Vincent Ansquer - Minister of Quality of Life
*Jean Lecanuet - Minister of Planning

Barre's Second Government, 30 March 1977 - 5 April 1978

*Raymond Barre - Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance
*Louis de Guiringaud - Minister of Foreign Affairs
*Yvon Bourges - Minister of Defense
*Christian Bonnet - Minister of the Interior
*René Monory - Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Craft Industry
*Christian Beullac - Minister of Labour
*Alain Peyrefitte - Minister of Justice
*René Haby - Minister of Education
*Michel d'Ornano - Minister of Culture and Environment
*Pierre Méhaignerie - Minister of Agriculture
*Jean-Pierre Fourcade - Minister of Equipment and Regional Planning
*Simone Veil - Minister of Health and Social Security
*Robert Galley - Minister of Cooperation
*André Rossi - Minister of External Commerce

*26 September 1977 - Fernand Icart succeeds Fourcade as Minister of Equipment and Regional Planning.

Barre's Third Government, 5 April 1978 - 22 May 1981

*Raymond Barre - Prime Minister
*Louis de Guiringaud - Minister of Foreign Affairs
*Yvon Bourges - Minister of Defense
*Christian Bonnet - Minister of the Interior
*René Monory - Minister of Economy
*Maurice Papon - Minister of Budget
*André Giraud - Minister of Industry
*Robert Boulin - Minister of Labour and Participation
*Alain Peyrefitte - Minister of Justice
*Christian Beullac - Minister of Education
*Alice Saunier-Seïté - Minister of Universities
*Jean-Philippe Lecat - Minister of Culture and Communication
*Pierre Méhaignerie - Minister of Agriculture
*Michel d'Ornano - Minister of Environment and Quality of Life
*Jean-Pierre Soisson - Minister of Youth, Sports, and Leisure
*Fernand Icart - Minister of Equipment and Regional Planning
*Joël Le Theule - Minister of Transport
*Simone Veil - Minister of Health and Family
*Robert Galley - Minister of Cooperation
*Jacques Barrot - Minister of Commerce and Craft Industry
*Jean-François Deniau - Minister of External Commerce

*29 November 1978 - Jean François-Poncet succeeds Guiringaud as Minister of Foreign Affairs.
*4 July 1979 - Jacques Barrot succeeds Veil as Minister of Health and Social Security. Maurice Charretier succeeds Barrot as Minister of Commerce and Craft Industry.
*29 October 1979 - Jean Mattéoli succeeds Boulin as Minister of Labour and Participation.
*2 October 1980 - Joël Le Theule succeeds Bourges as Minister of Defense. Daniel Hoeffel succeeds Le Theule as Minister of Transport. Michel Cointat succeeds Deniau as Minister of External Commerce.
*22 December 1980 - Robert Galley succeeds Le Theule (d.14 December) as Minister of Defense.
*4 March 1981 - Michel d'Ornano succeeds Lecat as Minister of Culture. No one succeeds Lecat as Minister of Communication.


Barre retired from active politics in June, 2002. He was being treated at a hospital for a heart condition since April, 2007 when he died on 25 August 2007. He was survived by his wife and two sons. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6963320.stm BBC NEWS | Europe | French ex-PM Raymond Barre dies ] ]


External links

* [http://www.lastingtribute.co.uk/famousperson/barre/2627483 Raymond Barre - Obituary and Public Tributes]

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