Charles Pasqua

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Charles Pasqua
Charles Pasqua.jpg
Minister of the Interior
In office
29 March 1993 – 11 May 1995
Preceded by Paul Quilès
Succeeded by Jean-Louis Debré
In office
20 March 1986 – 10 May 1988
Preceded by Pierre Joxe
Succeeded by Pierre Joxe
Personal details
Born (1927-04-18)18 April 1927
Grasse, France
Died 29 June 2015(2015-06-29) (aged 88)
Suresnes, France
Political party Rally for France
(1999-2002)
Other political
affiliations
Rally of the French People
(1947-1955)
Union for the New Republic
(1958-1968)
Union of Democrats for the Republic
(1968-1976)
Rally for the Republic
(1976-1999)
Spouse(s) Jeanne Joly (1947-2015)
Children Pierre-Philippe Pasqua (1948-2015)
Religion Roman Catholic

Charles Pasqua (Apr. 18, 1927 – Jun. 29, 2015) was a French businessman and Gaullist politician. He was Interior Minister from 1986 to 1988, under Jacques Chirac's cohabitation government, and also from 1993 to 1995, under the government of Edouard Balladur.

Early life and family background[edit]

Pasqua was born on Apr. 18, 19277 in Grasse, Alpes-Maritimes.[1][2] His paternal grandfather was a shepherd from Casevecchie, Corsica [3][4] and he could speak Corsican fluently.[5] As of 1987, his cousin served as the Mayor of Casevecchie.[6]

During World War II, Pasqua joined the French Resistance at the age of sixteen.[3][7]

Pasqua received his Baccalauréat, followed by a degree in Law.[5]

Business career[edit]

From 1952 to 1971 he worked for Ricard, a producer of alcoholic beverages (most notably pastis), starting as a salesman.[5][8]

In 1971, Pasqua founded Euralim, also known as Europe-Alimentation, an importer of Americano, a cocktail made by the Italian company Gancia.[9]

Politics[edit]

In 1947, he helped create the section of the Gaullist Party RPF movement for the Alpes-Maritimes.[5] With Jacques Foccart and Achille Peretti, he was the co-founder of the Service d'Action Civique (SAC) in 1959 to counter the terrorist actions of the OAS during the Algerian War of Independence (1954–1962).[5] The SAC would be charged with the underground actions of the Gaullist movement and participated in the organization of the 30 May 1968 Gaullist counter-demonstration.[5][10]

From 1968 to 1973, he was deputy to the French National Assembly for the Hauts-de-Seine département for the UDR party, of which he was a leading member from 1974 to 1976.[5] He helped Jacques Chirac to take the lead of the party and participated in its transformation into the Rally for the Republic (RPR). Counsellor of Jacques Chirac alongside Marie-France Garaud, he was in charge of the organisation of Chirac's campaign for the 1981 presidential election, won by the candidate of the Socialist Party (PS), François Mitterrand (1981–1995). As such, he is considered to be Chirac's mentor in politics.[5]

From 1981 to 1986 he was senator for the Hauts-de-Seine, then president of the RPR group in the Senate.[1] From 1986 to 1988 he was Interior Minister (in charge of law enforcement).[7] In 1992, he called a vote against the ratification of the Maastricht Treaty.[7] He became Interior Minister again from 1993 to 1995,[7] and supported the candidacy of Edouard Balladur at the 1995 presidential election. He is mostly remembered for having pushed a series of anti-immigration laws (lois Pasqua), and for his declaration "we will terrorize the terrorists."[5][10]

Pasqua headed the Rally for France (RPF), a sovereigntist (Eurosceptic) party, for a while in association with Philippe de Villiers.[5] At the 1999 European Parliament election, their list got ahead of the RPR list. He served as the President of the General Council of the Hauts-de-Seine from 1988 to 2004.[8] In 2004, he was elected senator by an electoral college.

In 2009, a US Senate report accused him, along with the British Respect MP, George Galloway, of receiving the right to buy oil under the UN's oil-for-food scheme.[11] Pasqua denied the charges and pointed out that he never met Saddam Hussein, never been to Iraq and never cultivated any political ties with that country. In a lengthy written rebuttal to the Senate report, Charles Pasqua pointed out further that since the oil vouchers were lifted by a legal entity incorporated in a European country, it should be relatively easy for investigators to uncover the masterminds behind the fraud instead of making accusations based on "sensational" press articles.[12]

Personal life and death[edit]

He was married to Jeanne Joly, from Quebec, Canada.[5] They had a son, Pierre-Philippe Pasqua, who predeceased him, dying in February 2015.[3][5]

He died of a heart attack on 29 June 2015 at the Foch Hospital in Suresnes, near Paris.[7][13]

References[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Pierre Joxe
Minister of the Interior
1986–1988
Succeeded by
Pierre Joxe
Preceded by
Paul Quilès
Minister of the Interior
1993–1995
Succeeded by
Jean-Louis Debré