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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07PARIS2027 2007-05-18 17:05 2010-11-30 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Paris
DE RUEHFR #2027/01 1381754
R 181754Z MAY 07




E.O. 12958: N/A 



PARIS 00002027 001.2 OF 007 


1. (SBU) Intent on maintaining the momentum for reform, 
President Sarkozy moved quickly following his inauguration 
May 16 (ref B). Sarkozy named his administration's first 
Prime Minster, Francois Fillon the following day, May 17, 
then immediately named the line-up of the Fillon government 
on May 18. The new government includes major figures from 
the wing of Sarkozy's own Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) 
party that opposed Sarkozy's nomination as the party's 
presidential candidate, from the opposition Socialist Party 
(PS) (Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner) and from the 
centrist Union for French Democracy (UDF) party (Defense 
Minister Herve Morin). The Fillon government ministerial team 
is the fruit of Sarkozy's outreach efforts across the 
political spectrum in the days immediately following his 
election (ref A). Sarkozy -- very confident that the UMP 
will keep its parliamentary majority following the upcoming 
June 10 and 17 legislative elections -- may well be 
accelerating his plans to implement reforms; the newly named 
government is designed to reflect multi-partisan 
responsibility for the upcoming reform effort, which will be 
actively, personally directed by Sarkozy himself. END 

2. (U) As expected, President Nicolas Sarkozy -- after 
naming Francois Fillon on May 17 the Sarkozy administration's 
first prime minister -- immediately also named the members of 
the Fillon government. On May 18, Claude Gueant, the new 
Secretary General of the Elysee Palace who served as 

Sarkozy's campaign manager during the presidential race, 
announced the composition of the new government (for list 
names and bio info see paras 7 - 32 below). This government 
is the result of 1) Sarkozy's early decision to name Fillon 
PM (ref B), as all UMP electoral projections kept indicating 
a very likely Sarkozy victory; and 2) Sarkozy's unexpected 
outreach efforts across the political spectrum in the days 
following his May 10 election victory (ref A). 

3. (U) This government is "Sarkozy's reform team," with 
Fillon in the role of executive officer. All indications are 
that the UMP will keep its current majority in the National 
Assembly in the upcoming June 10 and 17 legislative 
elections. The composition of this government -- which 
includes prominent members from the formerly anti-Sarkozy 
faction of the UMP (Juppe and Alliot-Marie) and a member from 
the opposition Socialist Party (PS) Kouchner) and one from 
the centrist Union for French Democracy (UDF) party (Morin)-- 
is designed to add the "multi-partisan, unity government" 
card to Sarkozy's already very strong hand (a mandate-giving 
victory and a new parliamentary majority) for pursuing his 
reform agenda. On the reform implementation front, all 
indications are that Sarkozy plans to keep up the pace he as 
set not only in naming his administration's first government 
in record time, but also in naming a government that, in 
effect, significantly restructures France's executive branch. 

4. (SBU) As promised, the number of ministries has been 
reduced to 15, driving a re-structuring of functions that 
divides the large and un-agile mega-ministries of economy and 
interior each into two "new" ministries. Sarkozy's 
restructuring also includes the creation of a "super 
ministry" of Ecology and Sustainable Development. It also 
overtly moves foreign policy direction to the Elysee. The 
economy ministry has been split into a pro-active Ministry of 
Economy, Finance and Employment under former Social 
Solidarity Minister Jean-Louis Borloo, and a more 
accounting-oriented Ministry of Budget, Public Accounting and 
Civil Service under UMP parliamentarian Eric Woerth. The 

PARIS 00002027 002.2 OF 007 

core interior ministry security functions remain in an 
Interior Ministry under former Defense Minister Michelle 
Alliot-Marie, as immigration and naturalization matters move 
to a new Ministry of Immigration, Integration, National 
Identity and Co-development under Sarkozy's closest political 
ally, Brice Hortefeux. 

5. (U) Sarkozy's re-structuring includes the creation of a 
Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Sustainable 
Planning under former Prime Minster Alain Juppe. Juppe also 
gets the title of Minister of State, which makes him number 
two in the government after Prime Minister Fillon. With 
regard to foreign affairs, Sarkozy has put policy direction 
firmly under his personal control at the Elysee through a 
far-reaching role for outgoing Ambassador to the U.S. 
Jean-David Levitte, in a role similar to that of the U.S. 
National Security Advisor. By naming Socialist Bernard 
Kouchner (of Doctors Without Borders fame) as Foreign 
Minster, Sarkozy has put an emphasis on humanitarian and 
human rights matters in the mission of the Quai d'Orsay 

6. (U) Also as promised, the new government observes gender 
parity -- seven of the new ministers are women. They are 
Michele Alliot-Marie (Minister of Interior, Overseas 
Territories and Local Governments), Rachida Dati (Minister of 
Justice), Valerie Pecresse (Minister of Higher Education and 
Research), Roselyn Bachelot (Minister of Health, Youth and 
Sports), Christine Boutin (Minister of Housing and Cities), 
Christine Lagarde (Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries), 
and Christine Albanel (Minister of Culture and Communication, 
Government Spokeswoman). Incidentally, the three top 
officials in this new French administration, President 
Sarkozy, Prime Minister Fillon and Minister of State Juppe 
are graduates of the U.S. Government's International Visitor 
Program (IVP) (Sarkozy in 1985, Fillon in 1984 and Juppe in 
1978). It is also noteworthy that the two top officials, 
Sarkozy and Fillon, are not graduates of France's elite 
school for top civil-servants, the National School of 
Administration (ENA). There follow biographical sketches of 
the new government's Prime Minister (Fillon), Foreign Minster 
(Kouchner), Defense Minister (Morin) and the government's 
number two (Juppe), who is Minister of Ecology, Sustainable 
Development and Sustainable Planning, and thumbnail bios of 
the other members of the new government. 

Prime Minister ) Francois Fillon 
7. (SBU) Francois Fillon, a former Gaullist with a keen 
interest in social affairs and defense issues, was named 
Prime Minister on May 17, 2007. Fillon broke ranks with 
former President Chirac following the UMP's crushing 
electoral defeats in the regional and European elections of 
2004. Fillon blamed Chirac's slow pace of social reforms for 
that electoral defeat, and has since vowed to move quickly to 
implement President Sarkozy's reform agenda. Fillon is best 
known for pushing through a controversial reform of the 
national pension system in 2003 -- arguably the most 
significant reform passed during Jacques Chirac's 12-year 

8. (SBU) Fillon served in the Raffarin government as 
Minister of Education from 2004-05, and as Minister of Social 
Affairs, Labor, and Solidarity from 2002-04. Fillon is given 
high marks for his handling of several politically sensitive 
labor reform measures during the 2002-04 period, including a 
de facto extension of the 35-hour workweek (by allowing 
employees to work more overtime hours); simplifying and 
raising the minimum wage; and passage of a controversial 
pension reform bill. Several of Fillon's proposed reforms to 
the education system, however, were watered down or withdrawn 
in an (ultimately unsuccessful) effort to mollify public 
opinion in advance of the vote on the EU Constitution. 

9. (SBU) Fillon served as a National Assembly Deputy from 
the Sarthe department (in western France) between 1981-93 and 
1997-2002. Throughout the 1980s and 90s, he was considered a 
leading expert on defense-related issues and served as 
chairman of the Assembly's Defense Committee during 1986-88. 
He was among the few Gaullists to call for greater French 

PARIS 00002027 003.2 OF 007 

participation in NATO. Fillon also served as Minister for 
Higher Education and Research during the government of 
Edouard Balladur (1993-95), and as Deputy Minister for Posts, 
Telecommunications, and Space during the government of Alain 
Juppe (1995-97). Fillon's political career includes a 
four-year stint (1998-2002) as President of the 
Pays-de-la-Loire Regional Council in western France. He was 
elected to the Senate in 2005 representing his native Sarthe 

10. (SBU) Fillon understands English, but prefers to speak 
French. He met his British-born wife, the former Penelope 
Clarke from Wales, when she was an English instructor at the 
university Fillon also attended in the Maine region of 
France. The couple has five children. Fillon has made 
several trips to the United States, including a tour as an IV 
grantee in 1984. 

Minister of Foreign and European 
Affairs ) Bernard Kouchner 
11. (SBU) In a surprise move, President Sarkozy has 
appointed world renowned humanitarian Bernard Kouchner as 
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs. Kouchner's 
appointment to lead the Quai d'Orsay represents the 
fulfillment of a longtime dream for the celebrated champion 
of humanitarian causes. Kouchner has made a career out of 
drawing attention to international humanitarian issues. His 
numerous efforts include projects in Somalia, Bosnia, 
Northern Iraq, Nagorno-Karabakh, Sudan, Ethiopia and Lebanon. 
Considered a maverick among his Socialist Party colleagues, 
Kouchner was one of the few politicians (left or right) to 
openly support the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. An 
experienced administrator, he has held three ministerial 
portfolios in Socialist governments: as Junior-Minister for 
Health (1997-98 and 2001-2002), as Minister of Health and 
Humanitarian Affairs (1992-93), and as Secretary of State for 
Humanitarian Affairs (1988-92). During 1994-97, Kouchner 
served as a Member of the European Parliament. He officially 
joined the Socialist Party in 1998. 

12. (U) Appointed by then-Secretary General Kofi Annan, 
Kouchner served as the UN's Special Representative in Kosovo 
during 1999-2001. In this capacity he acted as a virtual 
governor of the province during its occupation by a NATO-led 
peacekeeping force. He had the power to levy taxes, write 
new laws, and form a police force. Kouchner's appointment 
represented a diplomatic victory for President Jacques 
Chirac, who lobbied aggressively on Kouchner's behalf. Upon 
conclusion of his mandate, Kouchner received international 
praise for his competence, objectivity, and dedication. In 
recent years Kouchner has unsuccessfully bid on two top IO 
positions: UN High Commissioner on Refugees and head of the 
World Health Organization. 

13. (U) Kouchner has been active in aiding distressed 
populations throughout the world since the late-1960s, when 
he began working in Biafra and Chad. A gastroenterologist by 
training, Kouchner left his Paris medical practice behind 
and, in 1971, helped found &Medecins Sans Frontieres8 
(Doctors Without Borders), an organization of volunteer 
doctors dedicated to helping patients in disadvantaged 
countries around the world. Following a rift with other 
founding members, Kouchner set up Doctors of the World in 

14. (SBU) Kouchner was born on November 1, 1939. Kouchner 
has three children by a prior relationship. His longtime 
companion, Christine Ockrent, hosts a news program on the 
state-run TV network France 3. They have one child. 
Kouchner speaks excellent English. 

Minister of Defense ) Herve Morin 
15. (SBU) Herve Morin has represented the rural, 3rd 
district of the Eure department in the National Assembly 
since 1988. He is a member of the centrist Union for French 
Democracy (UDF) party. Morin has been the leader of the UDF 
parliamentary group in the assembly since 2002, and was 
widely seen as the leader of the UDF parliamentarians who 

PARIS 00002027 004.2 OF 007 

rallied to Sarkozy once UDF leader Francois Bayrou was 
eliminated in the first round of the presidential race. 
Morin has been a close Embassy contact. Friendly and direct, 
he is unabashed about his affection for the U.S., often 
referring to his Normandy roots and the grateful memories of 
the Liberation that he calls "our heritage." The French 
press characterizes Morin as among the most Atlanticist of 
all deputies. A relative newcomer on the national political 
stage, Morin worked as an administrator in the National 
Assembly beginning in 1978, and thus cannot be considered a 
neophyte in the Assembly's corridors of power. He was a 
counselor for parliamentary relations to then-Minister of 
Defense Francois Leotard (UDF) during 1993-95, and also 
served as spokesman and project coordinator for Francois 
Bayrou's 2002 presidential campaign. 

16. (SBU) In relatively short order, Morin became a member of 
Bayrou's inner circle, largely by remaining a UDF loyalist 
while other party leaders were defecting to Chirac's camp in 
the run-up to the 2002 presidential election. In Bayrou's 
2007 presidential bid, Morin filled a range of roles in the 
campaign: coordinator for special communication projects and 
point man for refuting UMP charges made against UDF 
proposals. Morin understands some English, but prefers to 
speak French. 

Minister of Ecology and Development ) Alain Juppe 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
17. (SBU) Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe, once famously 
described as "the best among us" by his mentor Jacques 
Chirac, has returned to the national political stage to lead 
a new "super ministry of ecology and economic development" 
formally called the Ministry of Ecology and Sustainable 
Development and Planning. Juppe also gets the, largely 
honorary, but coveted Minister of State title which places 
him second (behind PM Fillon) in the government's official 
protocol ranking. Juppe's high-profile appointment 
underlines President Sarkozy's commitment to leading action 
on global warming. In his May 6 victory address to the 
nation, Sarkozy highlighted the need for the United States, 
with France, to "take the lead" in the fight against climate 

18. (SBU) Juppe's appointment to a senior government post 
represents a political comeback for the man once seen as 
Jacques Chirac's likeliest (and preferred) successor. 
Juppe's conviction, in 2004, on charges relating illegally 
paid for political party staffers severely damaged his 
political career. Juppe was given a 14-month suspended 
sentence and one-year of ineligibility from holding public 
office. Juppe was forced to resign from both his seat in the 
National Assembly and his local elective office as mayor of 
Bordeaux. But more importantly, his resignation from the 
presidency of the UMP opened the door for Nicolas Sarkozy to 
take over. During 2005 Juppe taught a year-long seminar on 
globalization at Quebec's National School of Administration. 
During his stint in North America he became increasingly 
interested in environmental advocacy and, by his own account, 
was greatly influenced by the anti-global warming campaign 
directed by former Vice-President Al Gore. 

Minister of Economy, Finance and 
Employment -- Jean Louis Borloo 
19. (SBU) Jean-Louis Borloo has been tapped to lead the 
newly revamped Ministry of Economy, Finance and Employment 
which now includes enhanced powers over employment issues and 
economic strategy. A political maverick with a populist 
streak, Borloo previously served in the Raffarin and Villepin 
governments as Minister for Employment, Labor and Social 
Cohesion during 2004-07. He was also Junior Minister for 
Towns and Urban Renewal from 2002-04. In recent months 
Borloo has overseen development of Nicolas Sarkozy's 
so-called "Marshall Plan for the Suburbs," which seeks to 
revive employment and education prospects in immigrant 
neighborhoods. Self-assured, frank and quick-to-action, 
Borloo remains a highly popular figure among the general 

Minister of Interior, Overseas Territories 

PARIS 00002027 005.2 OF 007 

and Local Governments -- Michele Alliot-Marie 
20. (SBU) Neo-Gaullist Michele Alliot-Marie has been named 
to lead the Ministry of Interior, Overseas Territories and 
Local Governments by President Nicolas Sarkozy. Often 
referred to by her initials as "MAM" in the French press, 
Alliot-Marie is one of the few holdovers from the Chirac 
administration and was likely retained because of her strong 
support during the campaign and, at least in part, because of 
Sarkozy's desire to maintain gender parity in his new 
administration. Alliot-Marie served ably as Minister of 
Defense from 2002-07, becoming the first woman in French 
history to hold that position. Known as a "hands-on" 
minister, Alliot-Marie was well liked and respected by French 
Armed Forces personnel. During her tenure she fought 
successfully to prevent drastic cuts to the defense budget, 
and made several visits to French troops stationed in 
Afghanistan and Africa. Alliot-Marie also demonstrated a 
sincere desire to maintain good U.S.-French 
military-to-military relations, although she maintained a 
problematic relationship with former Defense Minister Donald 
Rumsfeld on such issues as European security (ESDP) and 
coordinated European procurement (EDA). 

Minister of Immigration, Integration, National 
--------------------------------------------- - 
Identity and Co-Development ) Brice Hortefeux 
21. (SBU) Long-time Sarkozy ally Brice Hortefeux has been 
appointed to lead the newly created Ministry of Immigration, 
Integration, National Identity and Co-Development. During 
the 2007 presidential campaign Sarkozy said that immigration 
reform would be a top priority of his administration and that 
he wanted to create a single agency in order to consolidate 
the administration of immigration policy portfolio that was 
spread out among three different ministries. Hortefeux is 
one of Sarkozy's oldest friends and political allies. He 
served as Junior Minister of Collective Territories in the 
old Villepin government from 2005-07. He was also a member 
of the European Parliament from 1999 to 2005. According to 
the press, Hortefeux and Cecilia Sarkozy, the president's 
highly influential wife, often clashed during the run-up to 
the 2007 presidential election. Hortefeux has maintained 
close ties with the Embassy over the years, although in 
private he has been a harsh critic of President George W. 
Bush's policy in Iraq. 

Minister of Justice ) Rachida Dati 
22. (SBU) Sarkozy protege Rachida Dati has been tapped to 
serve as Minister of Justice ("Garde de Sceaux"). A lawyer 
and former magistrate born to North African immigrants, Dati 
joined Sarkozy at the Interior Ministry in 2002 as an advisor 
on delinquency issues where she helped build up a network of 
contacts and supporters among the immigrant community. 
Impressed by her poise, intelligence and hard-driving work 
ethic, Sarkozy later choose Dati to serve as a 
co-spokesperson for his presidential campaign. Her political 
experience began in 1995 when she joined the staff of the 
Education Ministry. From 1997-99 she worked in the justice 
ministry as an internal auditor, before being named a 
magistrate at a criminal court in a town called Peronne. In 
2001 she was named acting magistrate at the criminal court in 
Evry, a suburb of Paris, where she specialized in financial 
crime cases. Dati was born on November 27, 1965 in 
Saint-Remy, France. Dati's Moroccan immigrant parents were 
poor; hers is an up-from-poverty success story made possible 
by hard work and free public education. She holds an 
economic science degree from the Higher School of Business 
(1993) and later took a masters in law (1996). She graduated 
from the National School of Magistrates in 1997. Dati is 
unmarried. Dati does not speak English. 

Minister of Labor, Social Relations 
and Solidarity ) Xavier Bertrand 
23. (SBU) President Nicolas Sarkozy has named UMP rising 
star Xavier Bertrand to lead the newly created Ministry of 
Labor, Social Relations and Solidarity. A formidable 

PARIS 00002027 006.2 OF 007 

debater, Bertrand served admirably as one of Sarkozy's 
spokespersons during the 2007 presidential campaign. A 
relative newcomer on the national political scene, Bertrand 
served in the Raffarin government as State Secretary for 
Social Security from April 2004 to June 2005. During this 
period he was responsible for negotiating with union and 
employer representatives regarding the reform of France's 
nearly-bankrupt health insurance system. In recognition for 
his successful efforts, Bertrand was then promoted to 
Minister of Health and Solidarity when Dominique de Villepin 
took over the reigns of government in 2005. He resigned for 
the government on March 26, 2007 in order to devote himself 
full-time to Sarkozy's presidential campaign. 

24. (SBU) Bertrand is a hard-working detail-oriented 
administrator. As Health Minister, Bertrand worked closely 
with U.S. officials to develop plans to cope with the 
emerging Bird Flu threat. In 2006 he requested assistance 
from visiting U.S. officials to help contain the Chikungunya 
epidemic on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. Bertrand 
later praised American contributions to the containment 
effort, saying American assistance accelerated the 
development and distribution of an effective vaccine. 

Minister of Education ) Xavier Darcos 
25. (SBU) UMP deputy Xavier Darcos has been named Minister 
of Education. Darcos served as Junior Minister for 
Cooperation, International Development and Francophone 
Affairs from 2004-05, and as Junior Minister for Primary and 
Secondary Education from 2002-04. A former senator from the 
Dordogne region in southwestern France (1997-2002), Darcos 
was not particularly close to former President Jacques Chirac 
and hence was not kept on when the government of Dominique de 
Villepin was formed in June 2005. He does not speak English. 

Minister for Higher Education 
and Research ) Valerie Pecresse 
26. (SBU) UMP deputy Valerie Pecresse has been named 
Minister for Higher Education and Research. Plucky and 
combative, Pecresse has served as spokesperson for the UMP 
political party since 2004 and regularly appears on TV and 
radio political debate programs. She was elected to the 
National Assembly representing Versailles-Chevreuse 
(Yvelines) in June 2002, and was immediately appointed to the 
National Assembly's law commission. Pecresse played a 
prominent role in President Chirac's 2002 reelection 
campaign, where she was in charge of dissecting the 
opposition's positions and preparing rebuttals for candidate 
Chirac. She has been a member of the UMP's political bureau 
since 2004, but does not appear closely allied to Nicolas 
Sarkozy. However, her omnipresent and effective performance 
during the 2007 presidential campaign likely assured her a 
spot in the Fillon government. 

Minister of Health, Youth and Sports 
) Roselyn Bachelot 
27. (SBU) Roselyn Bachelot-Narquin has been named Minister 
of Health, Youth and Sports. Bachelot served as Minister of 
Ecology and Sustainable Development in the Raffarin 
government from 2002-04. A long-time Chirac loyalist, 
Bachelot served as the former president's spokeswoman during 
his 2002 reelection bid. She was elected to a five-year term 
in the European Parliament in June 2004. Bachelot served on 
the European Parliament's commission investigating alleged 
overflights of European territory by the CIA aircraft 
transporting terrorist suspects. She has been a deputy 
secretary general at the UMP political party since 2006. 


Minister for Housing and Cities 
) Christine Boutin 
28. (SBU) Social conservative Christine Boutin has been 
named Minister for Housing and Cities. Boutin as has served 
in the National Assembly representing the 10th district in 
the Yvelines department since 1986. Something of a political 

PARIS 00002027 007.2 OF 007 

maverick, she was first elected to the Assembly without the 
endorsement of any party, but joined the center-right UMP in 
2002. Boutin rose to national prominence for her opposition 
to the 1999 &PACS8 legislation which provided a range for 
civil union, tax benefit, inheritance and surviving partner 
rights to gay and lesbian couples. After losing that battle, 
Boutin ran for the presidency 2002, obtaining just over 1 
percent of the first round vote. 

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries 
) Christine Lagarde 
29. (SBU) Christine Lagarde has been named Minister of 
Agriculture and Fisheries. Laggard's appointment follows on 
her successful tenure in the Villepin government as Junior 
Minister for Foreign Trade from 2005-07. Lagarde's 
performance reportedly made a favorable impression on 
then-Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, who was determined to 
keep her in his future administration. An accomplished 
lawyer specializing in antitrust and labor law, Lagarde 
formerly served as worldwide president at Baker and McKenzie 
from 2004-05. During the prior five year period, she was 
president of Baker and McKenzie's executive committee in 

Minister of Culture and Communication, 
Government Spokeswoman -- Christine Albanel 
30. (SBU) Former Chirac collaborator and speechwriter 
Christine Albanel has been named Minister of Culture and 
Communication. She will also serve as the Fillon 
government's official spokeswoman. Albanel served as 
president of the Versailles Historical Site and Museum from 
2003 until her ministerial appointment. A member the UMP's 
predecessor, the Rally for the Republic (RPR) political 
party, Albanel represented Paris on the Ile-de-France 
Regional Council from 1986-1992 and again from 1998-2004. 

Minister for Budget, Public Accounts 
and Civil Service ) Eric Woerth 
31. (SBU) UMP National Assembly member Eric Woerth has been 
named Minister for Budget, Public Accounts and Civil Service. 
Woerth represented the 4th district of the Oise department 
in the National Assembly from 2002-04, before serving in the 
Raffarin government as State Secretary for Reform of the 
State from March 2004 to June 2005. He was reelected to his 
old Assembly seat in a special by-election in that latter 
year. At the local level, he has been Mayor of Chantilly 
since 1995, and sat on the Picardie Regional Council during 

Four State Secretaries and a High Commissioner 
--------------------------------------------- - 
32. (U) Five other posts in the new government were also 
filled. Under the Prime Minister's office: Roger Karoutchi 
will be State Secretary for Relations with the Parliament, 
and Eric Besson will be State Secretary for Strategic 
Planning and Assessment of Public Policies. Under the 
Minister for Foreign and European Affairs: Jean-Pierre Jouyet 
has been named State Secretary for European Affairs. While 
under the Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and 
Planning: Dominique Bussereau is State Secretary for 
Transportation. Finally, Martin Hirsch will serve as High 
Commissioner for Pro-Active Solidarity Against Poverty. 
Please visit Paris' Classified Website at: fm