Lionel Jospin was born on July 12, 1937 in France. He is a French politician who served France as Prime Minister from 1997 to 2002. Jospin was the Socialist Party candidate for President in the election of 1995 an 2002. He was defeated by Jacques Chirac in 1995 and again in 2002. Following his defeat he declared that he was retired from politics.
Mitterrand named Jospin Minister of Education in 1988. Jospin worked to consolidated teacher training, reformed the university system, and helped to improve teacher's salaries. He reformed technical and vocational education and tackled youth unemployment. After his ministry Jospin was appointed to the rank of ambassador until he was chosen as Prime Minister in 1997.
Jospin had a reputation as a rigid socialist, but he lowered the VAT rate, income tax and company taxes, In addition he sold state-owned enterprises and campaigned for a 35-hour workweek. Jospin was an advocate of representation of women in politics and expanded the social security system in France. Jospin has continued to make comments on current political affairs and is a firm opponent to same-sex marriage. He has campaigned in favor of the proposed European Constitution and made it known he was available to be the Socialist candidate for the presidency (2007).
Jospin is currently married to Sylviane Agacinshi and has two children. He is a political activist as well as a civil servant. Jospin has no religious affiliation and has declared that he is an atheist.