Dominique Marie Francois René Galouzeau de Villepin is a French diplomat, politician, and author. In the neo-Gaullist government of President Jacques Chirac, he was Interior Minister (2004–05) and Prime Minister (2005–07). As foreign minister, de Villepin had problems with the US over the possibility of war in Iraq. As foreign minister, he became known around the world for speaking out against the invasion of Iraq in 2003. This culminated in a speech he gave at the UN. On February 5, 2003, de Villepin gave a speech at the UN in which he criticized the U.S. case for going to war with Iraq. This speech made headlines all over the world. Villepin was not found guilty of any of the things that were said to be his fault in the so-called Clearstream affair. During his time in the French government, he had to deal with a lot of problems, and the French did not always like him. He has written poetry, a book about poetry, several historical and political essays, and a study of Napoleon Bonaparte.
Early years and childhood
De Villepin was born on November 14, 1953, in Rabat, Morocco, to a family with a lot of power. Before getting a seat in the French Senate, his father worked for French businesses abroad.
As a young man, Villepin went to one of France’s most prestigious colleges, which trains the country’s top political, cultural, and business leaders. His college was the Institutd’EtudesPolitiques de Paris, which means the Paris Institute of Political Studies. After that, he went to the Écolenationaled’administration, which is almost a requirement for anyone who wants to work for the government.
Before starting his first job with the French foreign affairs department in 1980, Villepin also got degrees in law and literature.
Villepin’s first job was in 1980 as a member of a committee advising the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on relations between France and Africa.
Four years later, he was sent to the French embassy in Washington, D.C., where he worked as a media spokesperson for five years.
Between 1989 and 1992, he worked at the French embassy in New Delhi as an officer. After that, he moved back to Paris and became the head adviser on African affairs at the Foreign Ministry.
In 1993, Alain Juppé, who was the French foreign minister at the time, made him his chief of staff.
Juppé became a key figure in the right-wing political party Rassemblement pour la République (RPR), which was started by Jacques Chirac in 1976. Villepin was put in charge of Chirac’s presidential campaign in 1995, which Chirac and his party won.
After he won the election, Villepin was named secretary-general of the Élysée Palace, which is where the French president lives and works.
Two years later, the RPR lost a general election that Villepin had asked Chirac to hold a little early. Some of the RPR’s seats in the French National Assembly went to the Socialists, and Villepin was blamed by most people for this loss. Chirac wouldn’t take his resignation when he tried to give it.
Villepin stayed as secretary-general of the Élysée Palace until 2002 when Chirac was re-elected for a second term.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who is the country’s prime minister, chose Villepin to be the country’s foreign minister. He got through his first big test in the job when a crisis broke out in Ivory Coast, a country in West Africa.
The unrest caused by religion led to an attack on French troops in the country. Villepin ordered a quick military response that destroyed the rebels’ ability to launch airstrikes.
Soon, Villepin had to deal with a more dangerous problem at the Foreign Ministry. George W. Bush was trying to get international support for a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, but France, China, and Russia, three of the four permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, were against the plan.
In January of 2003, Villepin warned that if Iraq was attacked without a good reason, Europe would stand together against it. A month later, he gave an impassioned speech to the Security Council in which he repeated that the Chirac government was against using force against Iraq. France had help from Germany, Russia, and China.
The Union for a Popular Movement was formed when Villepin’s RPR joined with two other parties (Union for a Popular Movement, or UPM). His main rival in the party was the French politician Nicolas Sarkozy, who was also young and charismatic.
In March 2004, there was a change in the cabinet. Sarkozy went from being the Minister of the Interior to the Minister of Finance, and Villepin became the new Minister of the Interior. His more than a year in this job was controversial, especially because of how he felt about radical Muslim clerics who ran mosques or organizations for France’s five million Muslims.
Villepin said that some of these sites or groups were part of a secret network that helped Islamic terrorism around the world. As Interior Minister, he made a controversial law that said all Muslim clerics in France had to take classes in moderate Muslim theology and French secularism. These classes were only given in French, even though only a third of the clerics spoke French well.
France held a vote on the European Constitution on May 29, 2005. This was the next step toward a fully integrated European Union. Voters in France said no. Raffarin stepped down as prime minister, and Chirac chose Villepin to replace him.
In May 2007, de Villepin gave Chirac his resignation after protests over a law on unemployment that he helped pass. Chirac had already made up his mind not to run for a third term.
Works of note
Villepin is known for giving speeches that are full of poetry. He has written many political articles, essays, and books, such as Les Cent-Jours; ou, l’esprit de sacrifice (2001), which is about Napoleon’s return from exile on Elba.
While he was foreign minister, he also put out a book of political poems called Le Requin et la mouette (The Shark and the Seagull, 2004).
Personal History and Legacies
Villepin is married to Marie-Laure Le Guay, and they have three children: Marie de Villepin, Victoire de Villepin, and Arthur de Villepin.
Estimated Net worth
Dominique de Villepin is one of the most popular and wealthiest politicians. Based on what we found on Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider, Dominique de Villepin has a net worth of about $145 million.