Xavier Bettel

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Xavier Bettel
Xavier Bettel Royal Wedding 2012 cropped.jpg
Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Incumbent
Assumed office
4 December 2013
Monarch Henri
Deputy Etienne Schneider
Preceded by Jean-Claude Juncker
Mayor of Luxembourg City
In office
24 November 2011 – 4 December 2013
Preceded by Paul Helminger
Succeeded by Lydie Polfer
Personal details
Born (1973-03-03) 3 March 1973 (age 41)
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
Political party Democratic
Domestic partner Gauthier Destenay (fiancé)
Alma mater Aristotelian University
Nancy 2 University

Xavier Bettel (born 3 March 1973) is a Luxembourgish politician and lawyer, and has been Prime Minister of Luxembourg since 4 December 2013 when he succeeded Jean-Claude Juncker. Representing the Democratic Party, he has previously served as Mayor of Luxembourg City and as a member of the Chamber of Deputies and the Luxembourg City communal council.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Bettel was born in Luxembourg City. His father Claude was a wine merchant and his mother Aniela, French of Russian descent, was grandniece of Sergei Rachmaninoff.[3][4][5] After high school, Bettel obtained a Masters in Public and European Law and a DEA in Political Science and Public Law from Nancy 2 University in Nancy, France.[6][7] He also studied maritime law and ecclesiastical law at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. He has participated in the Erasmus Programme.[8]

For four years in the early 2000s he hosted Sonndes em 8, a weekly talkshow, on the now-defunct private T.TV television network.[9][10]

Political life[edit]

Municipal politics[edit]

In the 1999 communal elections, Bettel was elected to Luxembourg City's communal council, finishing sixth on the DP's list. On 12 July 2001, he qualified as a lawyer.[2] By the time of the 2004 legislative election, Bettel had significantly consolidated his position, and finished fourth (of the five DP members elected), giving him a seat in the Chamber of Deputies.[11] On 28 November 2005, after the communal elections in which he was placed fourth on the DP list, Bettel was appointed échevin in the Council of Luxembourg City.[2]

Following municipal elections on 9 October 2011, at the young age of 38, Bettel was sworn in as Mayor of Luxembourg on 24 November 2011.[12][13]

National politics[edit]

Bettel ran for the Chamber of Deputies in the 1999 legislative election, and finished 10th amongst DP candidates in the Centre constituency, with the top seven being elected.[14] However, the DP overtook the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) as the second-largest party, and its members formed the majority of the new government as the Christian Social People's Party's (CSV) coalition partners. Thus, with Lydie Polfer and Anne Brasseur vacating their seats to take roles in the government, and Colette Flesch not taking her seat so as to focus on her role as Member of the European Parliament, Bettel was appointed to the Chamber, starting 12 August 1999.[2]

Prime Minister[edit]

In 2013, Bettel was elected leader of the Democratic Party, and in the 2013 election, led the party to a third-ranked position in parliamentary seats. On 25 October, Bettel was designated by Grand Duke Henri as the formateur for the next government.[15] He assumed his post as Luxembourg's Prime Minister on 4 December, 2013. In the government's coalition of the Democratic Party, Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party and The Greens, he also holds the functions of Minister of State, Minister for Communications and the Media, and Minister of Worship.[2]

His policies were expected to include reforms on same-sex marriage in Luxembourg, replace religious instruction in schools with general ethics classes and cut spending to maintain Luxembourg's AAA credit rating.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Bettel is openly gay,[17] and has stated that increasingly in Luxembourg "people do not consider the fact of whether someone is gay or not." Bettel is Luxembourg's first openly gay Prime Minister and the third openly gay head of government following Iceland's former Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir and Belgium's current Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

Bettel has been in a partnership with his partner, Gauthier Destenay, since March 2010.[18] In August 2014 Destenay proposed to Bettel, who accepted. Bettel and Destenay will be married after January 1 2015 when the same-sex marriage law reforms that were passed in June 2014 come into effect at the start of the following year. [19]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Xavier Bettel". Ville de Luxembourg. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Xavier Bettel". Bettel, Xavier: Biographie. Gouvernement du Grand Duché de Luxembourg. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  3. ^ "Xavier Bettel, un jeune libéral pressé". La Republicain Lorrain. 26 October 2013. 
  4. ^ http://www.revue.lu/aktuelles/vielleicht-nicht-der-beliebteste-premier/
  5. ^ http://women-leaders.eu/Uploads/Links/Doc/94_1_Aniela%20Bettel_Life%20is%20a%20precious%20gift_Final.doc
  6. ^ "Xavier Bettel, un «fêtard» qui se remarquait". L'Essential Online. 5 November 2013. 
  7. ^ "Wie Xavier Bettel als Student Party machte". L'Essential Online. 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Well-known Erasmus students – inspiring careers". Programma LLP. p. 7. 
  9. ^ "TV Talkshow "Sonndes em 8" [1/2] (2005)". chienguidelux via YouTube. 2005. 
  10. ^ Strätz, Susanne (21 March 2007). "Luxemburg:Finanzmetropole im Modellbahn-Look". Der Spiegel. 
  11. ^ "2004: Circonscription Centre". Service Information et Presse. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  12. ^ "Xavier Bettel - Luxembourg City's new Mayor", Wort.lu, 10 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  13. ^ "Xavier Bettel sworn in as capital's mayor", Wort.lu, 24 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011
  14. ^ "1999: Circonscription Centre". Service Information et Presse. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/europe/2013/12/luxembourg-gets-first-openly-gay-pm-2013124165441367915.html
  17. ^ "Je suis surpris de devenir bourgmestre". L'essentiel. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  18. ^ "Luxembourg premier joins vanguard of gay leaders". LA Times. 20 August 2014. 
  19. ^ "Luxembourg Prime Minister engaged to be married". Luxemburger Wort. 21 August 2014. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Helminger
Mayor of Luxembourg City
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Lydie Polfer
Preceded by
Jean-Claude Juncker
Prime Minister of Luxembourg
2013–present
Incumbent