|Prime Minister of France|
31 March 2014
|Preceded by||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Minister of the Interior|
16 May 2012 – 31 March 2014
|Prime Minister||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Preceded by||Claude Guéant|
|Succeeded by||Bernard Cazeneuve|
|Mayor of Évry|
18 March 2001 – 24 May 2012
|Preceded by||Christian Olivier|
|Succeeded by||Francis Chouat|
|Member of the National Assembly
from Essonne's 1st Constituency
19 June 2002
|Preceded by||Jacques Guyard|
|Born||Manuel Carlos Valls
13 August 1962
|Political party||Socialist Party|
|Alma mater||Pantheon-Sorbonne University|
Manuel Carlos Valls (French: [ma.ny.ɛl vals]; born 13 August 1962) is a French Socialist Party politician, born to a Spanish father and a Swiss mother, who has been the Prime Minister of France since 31 March 2014. He was previously the Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014, the Mayor of Évry from 2001 to 2012 and has also been a Member of the National Assembly since 2002. He is a member of the Socialist Party and is regarded as belonging to the Party's social liberal wing, sharing common orientations with Scandinavian-style Social Democracy and Blairism.
Early life and family
Valls' paternal grandfather was the editor-in-chief of a Catholic Republican newspaper in Spain. During the Spanish Civil War he sheltered in his house priests who were persecuted by Trotskyists and anarchists. After Francisco Franco's victory, he was forced out of his job as editor. Valls' father was the Barcelona-born painter Xavier Valls (1923–2006). In the late 1940s, he moved to Paris and met his future wife, Luisangela Galfetti, a Swiss citizen and the sister of architect Aurelio Galfetti. He was also the second cousin to Manuel Valls Gorina, who composed Cant del Barça, the anthem for FC Barcelona. Valls was born in Barcelona and lived there until he moved to France as a teenager.
In 1980, at the age of 17, Valls joined the French Socialist Party (PS) to support Michel Rocard. Within the PS, he defended the 'Second left' (La Deuxième gauche), rather than the more pragmatic left of François Mitterrand. (The Second left could be compared to the 1960s 'New Left' – opposed to party lines and bureaucracy, anti-statist, supportive of anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movements worldwide, favoring direct action politics.) While studying history at the University of Paris I, Tolbiac campus, he was a member of the UNEF-ID, a progressive student union. In 1980, he met two other student supporters of Rocard with whom he became close friends: Alain Bauer (Bauer is the godfather of Valls' second son), and Stéphane Fouks.
Between 1983 and 1986 Valls was a parliamentary attaché for the member for Ardeche, Robert Chapuis. In 1986 he was elected to the regional Council for the Ile-de-France and served until 1992. In 1988, he succeeded Henri Kaminska as head of the Socialist Party in Argenteuil-Bezons and deputy mayor. From 1988 to 1991 he was responsible for function of the Prime Minister's Cabinet. From 1991 to 1993 he was an inter-ministerial delegate to the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville. In 1995, he became the Secretary of Communications for the national Socialist Party and in 1997 responsible for communications and media relations for the Prime Minister's Cabinet. In 1998 he was elected vice president of the regional Council for the Ile-de-France which he held until 2002. While vice president of the regional Council, he was also elected as mayor of Évry in 2001, until 2012. In 2002, he became the Deputy for the First Electoral District in Essonne and in 2008, the President of the tri-city jurisdiction Évry-Centre-Essonne.
In the 2008 elections to choose the head of the Socialist Party, Valls supported the former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal over her former civil-union partner François Hollande, who eventually won. The election results were controversial. There were irregularities and claims of electoral fraud in the strongholds of North and Seine-Maritime, which favored the candidate Martine Aubry.
On 13 June 2009, Manuel Valls announced his intention to run for the Socialist Presidential Primary in 2011 for the 2012 election. On 30 June 2009 he founded a political organization with the slogan "The Left Needs Optimism," to provide legal and financial support the Socialist Primary candidates. On 7 June 2011, he confirmed his candidacy for the Socialist primary.
On the evening of the first primary round, 9 October 2011, Manuel Valls achieved only 6% of the vote, just behind Ségolène Royal. He was therefore eliminated. On the night of his defeat, he endorsed François Hollande for the second round.
During the 2012 presidential election, he was the communications director of the PS nominee François Hollande, becoming one of the pillars of the campaign team.
In March 2014, following major losses to centre-right and extreme-right political parties in French municipal elections, President Francois Hollande appointed Valls to the post of Prime Minister. He replaced Jean-Marc Ayrault who had resigned earlier that day. The Valls Cabinet was formed on 2 April 2014, consisting of 16 ministers from the Socialist Party and one minister from the Radical Party of the Left.
He is regularly classified as being in the "right wing" of the Socialist Party, with a similar approach to the German, Dutch and Scandinavian Social Democratic Parties. During the 2011 presidential primary, he defined himself as "Blairiste" or "Clintonien", and described his position as "in the tradition of Pierre Mendes France, Lionel Jospin and Michel Rocard".
He advocates an "economically realistic" political speech without any "demagoguery". He voices his dissent in the party by his vision of individual responsibilities ("The new hope that the Left must carry is individual self-realization: to allow everyone to become what which he [she] is") and his positions against a system where some people live only from national solidarity. Describing himself as "reformist rather than revolutionary," he wants to "reconcile the left to the liberal approach.".
Asked in July 2011 on his attendance at a meeting of the Bilderberg Group, he confirmed that he was invited to Washington two years ago, while considering that this group was too "Atlanticist" and was open to the world. Similarly, he considers that "it would have to be too large leftist organizations, political, social," in European and global level.[vague]
Valls has always been a supporter of Israel in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict and has stated on many occasions, both on and off records, that he was "eternally attached to Israel".
In his book Down with the Old Socialism ... and Finally to the Left, he declared support for immigration "quotas".
On Sunday 9 June 2009, he was caught on camera making racist comments while visiting a market in his elected city of Évry. While passing a black man, Valls (almost whispering) made some comments about how "more white people would give a better image to the city." The video filmed with a phone went viral in France but was immediately removed.
In October 2013, his stance in the highly controversial Dibrani case met with surprisingly high approval by public opinion, with a global approval rate of 74% (57% approval rate from the left, and 89% from the right, even though Government and Parliament are mostly Socialists).
He supported the extension of the years of required pension contribution to 41, advocated and achieved by the Sarkozy administration. The extension means that due to the maximum mandatory retirement age of 62, only immigrants receiving the right to legally work around the age of 21 would be allowed to receive the pension to which they would have contributed throughout their careers. "The role of the Left is not to deny democratic changes, nor to hide the size of deficits … The Left can advocate an à la carte pension system and increasing the pay-in period."
Views on religion
In 2002, as mayor of Évry, he opposed a branch of the national grocery store chain Franprix, located in a predominately Muslim neighborhood, deciding to sell only halal certified meat/products and products that do not contain alcohol.
When Catholics protested against "Golgota Picnic", Valls supported the theater director in the name of freedom of speech. When Dieudonné's quenelle gesture became viral in 2013, Valls said he would consider "all legal means" to ban Dieudonné's "public meetings," given that he "addresses in an obvious and insufferable manner the memory of victims of the Shoah."
On 12 October 2009, Manuel Valls expressed "total disagreement" with the proposed decriminalization or legalization of cannabis made framed by Daniel Vaillant whose plan was to deprive traffickers of a source of income. Valls argued that: "The question of drugs that produce considerable damage in some neighbourhoods and nourish the underground economy, cannot be handled this way. There is a certain number of rules that cannot be removed."
Prime Minister : Since 31 March 2014
Minister of Interior : May 2012 to March 2014
Vice-president of the Regional Council of Île-de-France : 1998–2002 (Resignation).
Regional councillor of Île-de-France : 1986–2002 (Resignation).
Mayor of Évry : 2001–2012 (Resignation). Reelected in 2008.
Municipal councillor of Évry : Since 2001. Reelected in 2008.
Deputy-mayor of Argenteuil : 1989–1998 (Resignation).
Municipal councillor of Argenteuil : 1989–1998 (Resignation).
In 1987, Valls married Nathalie Soulié, with whom he had 4 children before divorcing. On 1 July 2010, he married Anne Gravoin, a violinist and winner of the Conservatoire de Paris' prestigious Premier Prix for Violin and Chamber Orchestra. Due to his family background, Manuel Valls is fluent in French, Spanish, Catalan and Italian.
- Les habits neufs de la gauche, éditions Robert Laffont, 2006
- La laïcité en face, a dialog with Virginie Malabard, Éditions Desclée de Brouwer, 2005
- Pour en finir avec le vieux socialisme... et être enfin de gauche, a dialog with Claude Askolovitch, Robert Laffont, 2008
- (French) L'homme qui veut être le Sarko de la gauche, Le Point, no. 1820, 2 August 2007, pp.24–27.
- (French) Biographie de Xavier Valls on claude-bernard.com website
- (Spanish) Ana María Preckler, Historia del arte universal de los siglos XIX y XX, Editorial Complutense, 2003, vol. II, p. 509, ISBN 9788474917079.
- (French) Passeur Fraysse, Bertrand. Challenges. 29 November 2007.
- (French) Alain Bauer Tchakaloff, Gaël. Le Nouvel économiste no. 1292. vol. 4. 10 March 2005.
- (French) « Alain Bauer » Ratier, Emmanuel. L'écrivain nationaliste: Faits & documents. no. 98. vol 15. 30 October 2000., describes the relationship between the two men, and the work of Nathalie Soulié, Valls ex-wife as the secretary for AB Associates, a personal security company founded by Bauer between 1994 and 1997.
- (French) Manuel Valls fait son one man show, Gala Magazine, 30 June 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2013
- French President Hollande names Valls as new PM BBC News. 31 March 2014.
- (French) AFP. . Libération, 31 March 2014
- (French) Retraites : Valls appelle à un "pacte national", nouvelobs.com, 13 April 2010.
- (French) Manuel Valls se verrait bien candidat en 2012, Libération, 24 April 2008.
- (French) Michel Urvoy, Valls, le social-réaliste qui secoue le PS, Ouest-France, 6 May 2008.
- (French) Opinion poll on "Les Français et l’affaire Leonarda" on bva.fr.
- Ira, Kumaran and Lantier, Alex. After French regional election victory: Socialist Party leaders call for austerity policies World Socialist Web Site. 2 April 2010. Retrieved 24 February 2013
- (French) A Evry, le maire contre le Franprix halalBladi.net. 9 December 2002. Retrieved 24 February 2013
- Le Journal du Dimanche 
- Le Monde 
- Nouvelles de France
- "France to ban 'anti-Semitic' comedian". Radio France Internationale. 27 December 2013.
- (French) Cannabis : Valls en "désaccord total" avec la proposition de Vaillant, nouvelobs.com, 12.10.2009.
- (French) Manuel Valls va se marier en juillet, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 January 2010.
- (French) La table de chevet de... Manuel Valls, Les Échos, nb60, 15 February 2008, p.50.
- (French) Manuel Valls ouvre les fenêtres de la musique, Radio classique, 16 May 2008.
- (French) qu'il faut savoir de Manuel Valls, lejdd.fr, 16 May 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Manuel Valls.|
|Minister of the Interior
|Prime Minister of France