Biography of Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac (born 29 November 1932) is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 (making him the only person to hold the position of Prime Minister twice under the Fifth Republic), and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.
After completing his DEA degree at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris, a term at Harvard University and the École nationale d'administration (ENA), Chirac began his career as a high-level civil servant, and soon entered politics. He subsequently occupied various senior positions, including Minister of Agriculture, Minister of the Interior, Prime Minister, Mayor of Paris, and finally President of the French Republic.
Chirac's internal policies included lower tax rates, the removal of price controls, strong punishment for crime and terrorism, and business privatisation. He also argued for more socially responsible economic policies, and was elected in 1995 after campaigning on a platform of healing the "social rift" (fracture sociale). After less statist policy when he was Prime Minister (1986–1988), he changed his method. Then, his economic policies, based on dirigisme, state-directed ideals, stood in opposition to the laissez-faire policies of the United Kingdom, which Chirac famously described as "Anglo-Saxon ultraliberalism". Chirac is the second-longest serving President of France (two full terms, the first of seven years and the second of five years), after François Mitterrand. As President, he also served as an ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra and Grand Master of the French Légion d'honneur.
On 15 December 2011, the Paris court declared him guilty of diverting public funds and abusing public confidence, and gave Chirac a two-year suspended prison sentence.