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Xavier Bertrand (born March 21, 1965 in Châlons-sur-Marnemarker, Marnemarker) is a Frenchmarker politician. He was the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity in François Fillon's second government. He was Minister of Health for almost two years in Dominique de Villepin's government under President Jacques Chirac. He played a foremost role in Nicolas Sarkozy's presidential campaign in 2007.


Family and studies

Born on March 21, 1965 in Châlons-sur-Marnemarker, in the Marnemarker département, of the Champagne-Ardennemarker région of Francemarker, Xavier Bertrand is the son of Jean-Pierre Bertrand, a bank executive and of Madeleine Bedin, a bank employee.

Bertrand studied in Reimsmarker, where he obtained a masters in public right, then a Diplôme d'Études Supérieures Spécialisées (DESS) in local administration.

Insurance agent by profession, Bertrand married Emmmanuelle Gontier, advisor in human resources on July 11, 1998. He is the father of three children, two of whom are twins.

He has been a member of the Grand Orient of France since 1995..

Political career

Bertrand was at the early age of 16 already a militant for the Rally for the Republic , and quickly went into politics.

In 1992, he led the campaign for the 'no' to the Maastricht Treaty in his department, the Aisnemarker in the region of Picardy. He was at the time assistant to the mayor of Saint-Quentin, Aisnemarker. He was one of the pioneers of the 'Saint-Quentin beach', an event similar to Paris-Plage.

After having been, from 1997 to 2002, parliamentary assistant to Jacques Braconnier, senatormarker of the Aisne, he was elected deputy at the Assemblée Nationale on June 16, 2002 for the 18th legislature (2002–2007), in the second circonscription of the Aisne.

In 2003, Alain Juppé, president for the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), made him responsible for leading the debate and explaining the reform of the pensions during a "Tour of France". He was chosen as a representative of this law project at the Assemblée Nationale. He was also during this period a part of the 'Club de la boussole,' a group of deputies who called themselves loyal to the then President Jacques Chirac and the then Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

During this period, he gained credit and got noticed in the right-wing political milieux. On March 31, 2004, when Raffarin named his third government, he was named Junior Health Minister to the Health Insurance. Under his Senior Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, he led the reform on the health insurance. Later on, he pronounced himself strongly in favour of a European Constitution for the referendum on May 29, 2005.

After the majority of the French voters' "no" to the referendum, Raffarin resigned as Prime Minister. Under the new PM, Dominique de Villepin, encouraged by the former one, Bertrand became the new Senior Minister for Health as Douste-Blazy transferred to Foreign Affairs Minister.

His mandate as Health Minister was marked by the chikungunya epidemic and the prohibition to smoke in public places, ratified in 2004.

Xavier Bertrand announced his support to UMP presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy on September 29, 2006. He is named Sarkozy's official spokesperson on January 15, 2007. He quit the government on 26 March to devote himself fully to the campaign.

On May 18, 2007, he was named Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity in the new Prime Minister François Fillon's government. On June 19, 2007 he was re-named Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Solidarity in Fillon's second government after the first one handed in its resignation the day before for rehandling after government no.2 Alain Juppé, Minister of Ecology and Development and only 'Ministre d'État' (Senior Minister), resigned after having lost in the legislative race to deputy of Bordeauxmarker.

Political career

Electoral mandates

Governmental functions

  • Secretary of State for Health Insurance : 2004-2005
  • Minister of Health and Solidarity : 2005-2007
  • Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Solidarity : 2007-2009

See also


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