Alain Marie Juppé
(b. 15 Aug. 1945).
Prime Minister of France 1995–7 Born at Mont de Marsan, he graduated from the elite colleges École Normale Supérieure and the École Nationale d'Administration. In 1976, he became a protégé of Chirac, working as his speech writer. After Chirac's election as Mayor of Paris in 1978 he became his economic and financial director, and from 1986 Juppé served as Deputy in the National Assembly. Chirac appointed Juppé secretary-general of the Gaullists (RPR) in 1988, in which capacity he made a significant contribution to the party's victory in the 1993 elections. As Minister of Foreign Affairs (1993–5) he was the most outspoken and enthusiastic ally of Chirac's bid for the presidency, and was appointed Prime Minister after the latter's victory. Juppé struggled hard to realize the President's contradictory election promises of a reduction in unemployment, increased social spending, and a reduction of state spending. He was more a technocrat than a communicator, and his attempted public spending reforms in late 1995 caused the biggest popular protests in French society since 1968. The 1997 elections, called early by Chirac in the expectation of a clear victory for the right, became a disaster for Juppé, whose RPR was routed. A trusted aide to Chirac, he served as first president of the UMP. Briefly made minister for the enviroment by Sarkozy, he had to resign after failing to regain his seat in the 2007 parliamentary elections.