Raymond Barre

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Raymond Barre, 1991

Raymond Barre (born April 12, 1924 in Saint-Denis on Réunion , † August 25, 2007 in Paris ) was a French politician and economist .

From 1976 to 1981 he was French Prime Minister under President Valéry Giscard d'Estaing .


Raymond Barre was born as the son of a merchant on the French island of Réunion in the Indian Ocean , where he also spent his youth, apart from a break of a few months in 1934. He first attended the same primary school as the journalist and politician Raymond Bourgine , before moving to the lycée Leconte de Lisle de Saint-Denis. He was then accepted into the École de droit de la Réunion .

Raymond Barre's birthplace

At the age of twenty he was unable to study medicine in Montpellier , as is customary in his family , as he was drafted into the artillery regiment in Madagascar in 1945 . After the end of the Second World War, he went to Paris in early 1946, where he rented a room in the Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris until 1950 .

Barre completed his studies with a state examination in law and economics, then he graduated from the Institut d'études politiques de Paris . After that he became a university professor in Caen in 1950, at the age of only 26, and in 1959 he published a business textbook.

From 1962 to 1965, Raymond Barre was head of cabinet to Jean-Marcel Jeanneney , Minister of Industry in the Debre government . In 1967 Charles de Gaulle sent him to the European Commission , where he became Vice President. He held this position, in which he was responsible for economics and finance , until 1973.

After a financial scandal on the part of the Lyon city administration, he took over the management of the administration as mayor of Lyon from 1995 to 2001 . In 2004 Barre was awarded the Konrad Adenauer Prize of the City of Cologne .

Raymond Barre died on August 25, 2007 at the age of 83 in the Val-de-Grâce military hospital in Paris and was buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse .

His two sons Olivier (* 1955) and Nicolas (* 1961) emerged from his marriage in 1954 to Éva Hegedendens, who came from a Hungarian-Jewish family.

Member of the government (1976 to 1981)

From January to August 1976 Raymond Barre was Minister for Foreign Trade under Jacques Chirac .

In March 1976, after the dismissal of Jacques Chirac , Raymond Barre became Prime Minister of France under Valéry Giscard d'Estaing and, in his additional role as Minister of Economics and Finance (1976–1978), was forced to pursue a strict austerity policy due to high unemployment and inflation. He had to deal with the effects of the oil price shock, a devaluation of the French franc and double-digit inflation. Despite these measures, he was unable to reduce unemployment or inflation . Undeterred, he held the office for almost five years, until Giscard d'Estaing had to give way to his socialist successor François Mitterrand as President in 1981.

As Minister of Economic Affairs he employed the Nazi collaborator Maurice Papon . When he went to court in 1997/98, despite all efforts to the contrary by the French elite, Raymond Barre, who was married to a Jew, emphasized his decency. When a bomb exploded in front of the synagogue on rue Copernic on October 3, 1980 , he mourned the deaths, for him they were either Jews or innocent French .

Other offices (1978 to 2002)

From 1978 to 2002 Raymond Barre represented the Département Rhône in the National Assembly and had been a member of the Commission for Foreign Affairs since 1986. In the presidential election in 1988 he was a candidate for the center-right party Union pour la démocratie française (UDF) - without being a member - and received 16.5% of the vote. In third place behind François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac , he was eliminated in the first ballot. From 1995 to 2001 he was mayor of Lyon , the third largest city in the country. There he inaugurated the new tram network in 2000 .

In addition, he was both professor and president of the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po) and was awarded several honorary doctorates , including from universities in Ottawa , Mainz , Barcelona , Istanbul , Budapest , Tokyo and Lisbon . He was also awarded the Grand-Croix de l'Ordre National du Mérite . Barre was a member of the Club of Rome .

He caused a stir at the beginning of March 2007 when he defended the recently deceased Maurice Papon and the right-wing extremist Bruno Gollnisch , who had been convicted of relativizing statements about the Holocaust , on a national radio show . Claude Lanzmann ( Shoah ) countered this in the newspaper Liberation , saying that Barre was an “ anti-Semite ” because he had criticized an alleged “ Jewish lobby ”. Lanzmann accused Barre of “ making himself the herald of this disgusting passion, propagating it and boasting about it”.

Web links

Commons : Raymond Barre  - Collection of Images, Videos and Audio Files
Wikiquote: Raymond Barre  - Quotes (French)
predecessor Office successor
Michel Noir Mayor of Lyon
Gerard Collomb

Individual evidence

  1. http://www.economie.gouv.fr/caef/raymond-barre
  2. ^ "Fat Raymond": France's ex-Prime Minister Barre has died. In: Spiegel Online . August 25, 2007. Retrieved June 9, 2018 .