Born May 2, 1929, Edouard Balladur was the prime minister of France from May 1993 to May 1995. Balladur began his career in politics in 1964 as an advisor to Georges Pompidou, Prime Minister of France. When Pompidou's was elected president of France in 1969, Balladur was nominated as under-secretary general of the presidency. He was secretary general from 1973 until Pompidou's death in 1975.
In the 1980s Balladur supported Jacques Chirac and was the driving force behind the cohabitation government. He sold off many French public companies and abolished the wealth tax. He was an unofficial deputy Prime Minister in Chirac's political cabinet. He campaigned for the adoption of pro-European policies initiated by Chirac.
Balladur ran for president of France in 1995 but a bugging scandal as well as Chirac's criticisms sank him in the polls. His broken promise to Chirac that he would not run for the presidency damaged a strong 30 friendship. His political star did not rise after his betrayal. He did not win the presidency of the Ile de France region in 1998 nor did he win the RPR nomination for the mayor of Paris in2 001, or the Chair of the National Assembly in 2002. In 2007 Sarkozy, then President of France, nominated Balladur as the head of the committee for institutional reforms. 2008 Balladur presented his latest book, Union of the West", at a conference by the Streit Council for a Union of Democracies.
In addition to his political career, Balladur was president of Mont Blanc Tunnel from 1968 to 1980. He was questioned in 2005 regarding the security procedures surrounding the 1999 deadly accident in the tunnel. From 1977 to 1986 Balladur was also president of IBM Global Services. He is one of the few French politicians with business expertise. Balladur is married to Marie-Josephe Delacour and they have four children.
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