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Manuel Valls

manuel valls, manuel valls footing
Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti French: manɥɛl vals, Catalan: mənuˈɛl ˈβaʎs, Spanish: maˈnwel ˈβals; born 13 August 1962 is a French politician who was the Prime Minister of France from 2014 until 2016 He was previously Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014 He was a member of the Socialist Party, and was a candidate in their primary for the 2017 presidential election, losing the Socialist nomination in the second round to Benoît Hamon

Born in Barcelona to a Spanish father and a Swiss mother, Valls was Mayor of Évry from 2001 to 2012 and was first elected to the National Assembly of France in 2002 He is regarded as belonging to the Socialist Party's social liberal wing, sharing common orientations with Blairism


  • 1 Early life and family
  • 2 Political career
  • 3 Prime Minister and critics
  • 4 2017 Presidential election
  • 5 Post-premiership since 2016
  • 6 Political beliefs
    • 61 Immigration
    • 62 Retirement age
    • 63 Views on religion
    • 64 Cannabis
    • 65 Terrorism
  • 7 Honours
  • 8 Political offices
  • 9 Personal life
  • 10 Publications
  • 11 References
  • 12 External links

Early life and familyedit

Valls' paternal grandfather was the editor-in-chief of a Republican newspaper in Spain During the Spanish Civil War, he sheltered priests who were fleeing from the Red Terror1 After Francisco Franco's victory, he was forced out of his job as editor Valls' father was the Barcelona-born painter Xavier Valls 1923–200623

In the late 1940s, Xavier Valls moved to Paris and met his future wife, Luisangela Galfetti, a Ticino-born Swiss citizen, the sister of architect Aurelio Galfetti In 1955, he won the prize for best still life in the third Spanish-American Art Biennial inaugurated by Franco4 Valls was born in Barcelona while his parents were there on holiday He grew up with them at their home in France

Political careeredit

In 1980, aged 17, Valls joined the French Socialist Party PS to support Michel Rocard Within the PS, he defended the 'Second left' La Deuxième gauche, rather than the more pragmatic left of François Mitterrand The Second left could be compared to the 1960s 'New Left' – opposed to party lines and bureaucracy, anti-statist, supportive of anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist movements worldwide, favouring direct action politics While studying history at the Pantheon-Sorbonne University, Tolbiac campus, he was a member of the UNEF-ID, a progressive students' union5

In 1980, he met two other student supporters of Rocard with whom he became close friends: Alain Bauer Bauer is the godfather of Valls' second son, and Stéphane Fouks678

From 1983 to 1986, Valls was a parliamentary attaché for the member for Ardèche, Robert Chapuis In 1986 he was elected to the regional Council for the Île-de-France and served until 1992 In 1988, he became head of the Socialist Party in Argenteuil-Bezons and deputy mayor From 1988 to 1991 he was responsible for the functioning of the prime minister's cabinet From 1991 to 1993 he was an inter-ministerial delegate to the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville In 1995, he became the Secretary of Communications for the national Socialist Party and in 1997 communications and media relations chief for the prime minister's Cabinet In 1998 he was elected vice-president of the regional council for Île-de-France, a post which he held until 2002 While vice-president of the regional Council, he was also elected mayor of Évry in 2001, a post he held until 2012 In 2002, he became the deputy for the First Electoral District in Essonne and in 2008, the president of the tri-city jurisdiction of Évry-Centre-Essonne9

In the 2008 elections to choose the head of the Socialist Party, Valls supported the former presidential candidate Ségolène Royal over her former partner François Hollande; Hollande eventually won10

On June 13, 2009, Valls announced his intention to run in the Socialist presidential primary in 2011 for the 2012 election On 30 June 2009 he founded a political organisation with the slogan "The Left Needs Optimism," to provide legal and financial support the Socialist Primary candidatescitation needed

On 7 June 2011, he confirmed his candidacy for the Socialist primary On the evening of the first primary round, 9 October 2011, Valls achieved only 6% of the vote, just behind Ségolène Royal11 He was therefore eliminated On the night of his defeat, he endorsed François Hollande for the second round Valls was appointed Minister of the Interior in the Ayrault Cabinet in May 201212

Valls ran again for the presidential nomination in the 2017 Socialist presidential primary and was widely expected to win He was upset by left-wing candidate Benoît Hamon, a former education minister who had served under Valls and had quit the cabinet to protest Hollande's policies Valls was defeated in the second round, in which he received 41% of the vote to Hamon's 58%13 Despite subsequently promising to support Hamon's candidature, Valls later declared his support for Emmanuel Macron of En Marche!14

Prime Minister and criticsedit

Valls and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at the Munich Security Conference, 2016

In March 2014, following major losses to centre-right and extreme-right political parties in French municipal elections, President François Hollande appointed Valls to the post of Prime Minister He replaced Jean-Marc Ayrault who had resigned earlier that day1516 The Valls Cabinet was formed on 2 April 2014, consisting of 15 ministers from the Socialist Party and two ministers from the Radical Party of the Leftcitation needed

After the 2016 Nice attack, he was criticised for saying that "France will have to live with terrorism"17 French citizens booed him when he joined the memorial for the victims, yelling "murderer" and "resign" at him before the minute of silence for the dead began18

2017 Presidential electionedit

Valls left office on 6 December 2016 to run in the primaries to be the Socialist candidate in the 2017 presidential election He was replaced by Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve19 He came in second during the first round of the primary on 22 January, behind his ex-Minister of National Education Benoît Hamon The two candidates advanced to the second round, which was held 29 January20 In the second round, the more left-leaning Hamon unexpectedly defeated Valls and became the Socialist Party's nominee21

Post-premiership since 2016edit

After his loss in the Socialist Party primary, Valls refused to endorse Benoit Hamon, citing the difference in views22 In March, Valls announced on BFMTV that he was endorsing Emmanuel Macron23

After Macron's win in the second round of the presidential election, Valls announced that he wanted to run for reelection to the National Assembly under the En Marche! banner,24 declaring that the Socialist Party was "dead"25 The Socialist Party has started disciplinary proceedings against Valls, perhaps resulting in his expulsion26 En Marche! rejected Valls's application to join, but said it would not oppose him in the election27 Valls won reelection as an independent with 503% of the vote in the second round, but the result was challenged by his opponent, Farida Amrani of La France insoumise28

Political beliefsedit

Valls is on the right wing of the Socialist Party, with a similar approach to the German and Dutch Social Democratic Parties During the 2011 presidential primary, he defined himself as "Blairiste" or "Clintonien", and described his position as "in the tradition of Pierre Mendès France, Lionel Jospin and Michel Rocard" As prime minister he openly said that he liked the comparison with the new Italian premier, Matteo Renzi, another thirdway-er2930

Valls advocates an "economically realistic" political speech without "demagoguery" He voices his dissent in the party by his vision of individual responsibilities "The new hope that the Left must carry is individual self-realization: to allow everyone to become that which they are"31 and his positions against a system where some people live only from national solidarity Describing himself as "reformist rather than revolutionary," he wants to "reconcile the left to the liberal approach"30


In his book To Put the Old Socialism to Rest And Finally be Left-Wing, he declared support for immigration "quotas"citation needed

On Sunday 9 June 2009, while visiting a market in Évry, of which he was then mayor, he was caught on camera suggesting that the presence of more white people would give a better image of the city32

In October 2013, his stance in the Dibrani case met with high public approval, with a global approval rate of 74% 57% approval rate from the left, and 89% from the right33

Retirement ageedit

Valls supported the extension of the years of required pension-contribution to 41, as advocated and achieved by the Sarkozy administration The extension means that due to the maximum mandatory retirement age of 62, only immigrants receiving the right to legally work around the age of 21 would be allowed to receive the pension to which they would have contributed throughout their careers "The role of the Left is not to deny democratic changes, nor to hide the size of deficits The Left can advocate an à la carte pension system and increasing the pay-in period"34

Views on religionedit

In 2002, as mayor of Évry, he opposed a branch of the national grocery store chain Franprix, located in a predominately Muslim neighbourhood, deciding to sell only halal-certified meat/products and products that do not contain alcohol35

As parliamentarian and interior minister, he took strong stances on secularism, supported crackdowns on the wearing of niqābs in public and defended a nursery which sacked an employee for demanding to wear one at work He had harsh words for anti-gay marriage protesters36 When Catholics protested against "Golgota Picnic", he supported the theatre director in the name of freedom of speech37

When Dieudonné's quenelle gesture became viral in 2013, Valls said he would consider "all legal means" to ban Dieudonné's "public meetings", given that he "addresses in an obvious and insufferable manner the memory of victims of the Holocaust"38


On 12 October 2009, Valls expressed "total disagreement" with a proposal by Daniel Vaillant for decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis The plan involved depriving traffickers of a source of income Valls argued, "The question of drugs that produce considerable damage in some neighbourhoods and nourish the underground economy, cannot be handled this way There is a certain number of rules that cannot be removed"39


Valls said after the 2015 Paris attacks that French society needed a "general mobilisation" against the appeal of "deadly" doctrines40 After the 2016 Nice attack Valls said "Times have changed, and France is going to have to live with terrorism, and we must face this together and show our collective sang-froid France is a great country and a great democracy and we will not allow ourselves to be destabilized"17 The comments on the Nice attack provoked criticism in France41


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it
  • Knight Grand Cross in the National Order of Merit42
  • Knight Grand Cross in the Senegalese National Order of Merit fr43
  • Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George United Kingdom 44

Political officesedit

Governmental functions

  • Prime Minister : 31 March 2014 to 6 December 2016
  • Minister of Interior : May 2012 to March 2014

Elected offices

  • Member of the National Assembly of France for Essonne 1st constituency: 2002–date Elected in 2002, re-elected in 2007 and 2012 He was replaced by his deputy Carlos Da Silva from 2012 to 2017
  • Vice-president of the Regional Council of Île-de-France : 1998–2002 Resignation
  • Regional councillor of Île-de-France: 1986–2002 Resignation
  • Mayor of Évry: 2001–2012 Resignation Re-elected in 2008
  • Municipal councillor of Évry : Since 2001 Re-elected in 2008 and 2014
  • Deputy-mayor of Argenteuil: 1989–1998 Resignation

Personal lifeedit

In 1987, Valls married Nathalie Soulié, with whom he had 4 children before divorcing On 1 July 2010, he married45 Anne Gravoin, a violinist and winner of the Conservatoire de Paris' prestigious Premier Prix for Violin and Chamber Orchestra4647

Owing to his family background, Manuel Valls is fluent in French, Spanish, Catalan and Italian,48 and is distantly related to the Marquesses del Bosch de Aréscitation needed


  • Les habits neufs de la gauche, éditions Robert Laffont, 2006
  • La laïcité en face, a dialogue with Virginie Malabard, Éditions Desclée de Brouwer, 2005
  • Pour en finir avec le vieux socialisme et être enfin de gauche, a dialogue with Claude Askolovitch, Robert Laffont, 2008
  • L'Exigence Paris, France: Éditions Grasset 2016 


  1. ^ L'homme qui veut être le Sarko de la gauche, Le Point, #1820, 2 August 2007, pp 24–27in French
  2. ^ Biographie de Xavier Valls Archived 3 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine on claude-bernardcom website
  3. ^ Ana María Preckler, Historia del arte universal de los siglos XIX y XX, Editorial Complutense, 2003, vol II, p 509; ISBN 9788474917079 in Spanish
  4. ^ Ratier, Emmanuel 2014 "Emmanuel Ratier répond aux menteurs de Canal+" in French E&R Retrieved 29 May 2014 
  5. ^ http://wwwla-croixcom/France/Politique/Les-anciens-Unef-aujourd-pouvoir-dans-situation-inconfortable-2016-03-10-1200745863
  6. ^ Fraysse, Bertrand, "Passeur", challengesfr, 29 November 2007in French
  7. ^ Tchakaloff, Gaël "Alain Bauer", Le Nouvel économiste no 1292 vol 4 10 March 2005in French
  8. ^ Alain Bauer and Emmanuel Ratier "L'écrivain nationaliste: Faits & documents" no 98 vol 15 30 October 2000 in French describes the relationship between the two men, and the work of Nathalie Soulié, Valls ex-wife, as the secretary for AB Associates, a personal security company founded by Bauer in the 1990s
  9. ^ "Archives Manuel Valls – mai 2012 – avril 2014/Archives – Ministère de l'Intérieur" in French Interieurgouvfr Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  10. ^ http://wwwrtlfr/actu/politique/manuel-valls-les-militants-du-ps-doivent-elire-segolene-royal-des-le-premier-tour-2500602
  11. ^ "Les resultats" 
  12. ^ http://wwwlefigarofr/flash-actu/2012/05/16/97001-20120516FILWWW00668-manuel-valls-ministre-de-linterieurphp
  13. ^ Chrisafis, Angelique 29 January 2017 "French Socialists choose leftwing rebel Benoît Hamon for Élysée fight" The Guardian 
  14. ^ "French Left on brink of implosion as ex-PM Manuel Valls backs Emmanuel Macron for president" 
  15. ^ "French President Hollande names Valls as new PM" BBC 31 March 2014 Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  16. ^ "Manuel Valls nommé Premier ministre "de combat"" Libération in French 31 March 2014 Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  17. ^ a b "How the terror attacks have changed life for the French" Financial Times 16 July 2016 Retrieved 4 October 2016 
  18. ^ "Attack on Nice: French PM Valls booed at commemoration" BBC 
  19. ^ Willsher, Kim 6 December 2016 "Bernard Cazeneuve named French PM as Manuel Valls resigns" The Guardian Retrieved 7 December 2016 
  20. ^ "Résultats de la primaire à gauche : Montebourg reconnaît sa défaite et appelle à voter Hamon" Le Monde 22 January 2017 Retrieved 22 January 2017 
  21. ^ "Benoît Hamon, vainqueur inattendu de la primaire à gauche" Le Monde 29 January 2017 
  22. ^ "Manuel Valls s’explique sur son refus de parrainer Benoît Hamon" Le Mondefr in French 2017-03-19 ISSN 1950-6244 Retrieved 2017-05-10 
  23. ^ "Subscribe to read" wwwftcom Retrieved 2017-05-10 
  24. ^ "Macron election: French ex-PM Manuel Valls wants to join En Marche" BBC News 2017-05-09 Retrieved 2017-05-10 
  25. ^ https://wwwftcom/content/a2544c30-348d-11e7-99bd-13beb0903fa3
  26. ^ https://wwwthelocalfr/20170510/is-valls-getting-the-boot-from-the-socialist-party
  27. ^ McGuinness, Romina 15 May 2017 "'He’s mean' Ex-French PM Valls hits out as Macron 'refuses' to let him join En Marche" Express Retrieved 21 June 2017 
  28. ^ Zappi, Sylvia 19 June 2017 "Manuel Valls élu de justesse, Farida Amrani conteste les résultats" Le Monde in French Retrieved 21 June 2017 
  29. ^ Frédéric Martel "Sarkozy/Berlusconi, Valls/Renzi: l'Italie, nouveau modèle de la vie politique française" in French Franceinfofr Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  30. ^ a b "Manuel Valls aime bien qu'on le compare à Matteo Renzi, beaucoup moins à Napoléon" in French Lelabeurope1fr 15 August 2014 Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  31. ^ Retraites: Valls appelle à un "pacte national" Retrieved 25 April 2015in French
  32. ^ Megahigh 29 August 2013 "Manuel Valls Raciste Anti Noir" YouTube Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  33. ^ "Opinion poll on "Les Français et l'affaire Leonarda"" PDF in French Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  34. ^ Ira, Kumaran and Lantier, Alex After French regional election victory: Socialist Party leaders call for austerity policies, World Socialist website, 2 April 2010 Retrieved 24 February 2013
  35. ^ "A Evry, le maire contre le Franprix halal" in French Bladinet Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  36. ^ Stéphanie Le Bars, "Manuel Valls, partisan d'une « laïcité exigeante", Le Monde, 1 April 2014 in French
  37. ^ Eric Martin 10 January 2014 "Quand Valls défendait la liberté d'expression à propos de Golgota Picnic, une pièce de théâtre antichrétienne" in French Ndffr Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  38. ^ "France to ban 'anti-Semitic' comedian" in French Radio France Internationale 27 December 2013 Retrieved 25 April 2015 
  39. ^ "Cannabis: Valls en "désaccord total" avec la proposition de Vaillant" in French Tempsreelnouvelobscom Retrieved 25 August 2014 
  40. ^ Kim Willsher "France to set up a dozen deradicalisation centres" The Guardian Retrieved 24 September 2016 
  41. ^ "French PM Valls booed as he attends tribute to Nice victims" Financial Times 
  42. ^ "Valls-Hollande : histoire d'une rupture annoncée" 6 December 2016 
  43. ^ http://wwwdakaractucom/DECORATION-Le-Premier-ministre-Francais-Manuel-Valls-eleve-a-la-dignite-du-Grand-croix-dans-l-ordre-du-merite_a118693html
  44. ^ https://wwwgovuk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/509625/2014_Honorary_Awards_-_Final_-_apdf
  45. ^ Manuel Valls va se marier en juillet, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 January 2010in French
  46. ^ "La table de chevet de Manuel Valls", Les Échos, nb60, 15 February 2008, p 50 in French
  47. ^ Manuel Valls ouvre les fenêtres de la musique, Radio classique, 16 May 2008 in French
  48. ^ qu'il faut savoir de Manuel Valls, lejddfr, 16 May 2012 in French

External linksedit

  • Manuel Valls campaign website
  • Manuel Valls' biography, on the French government website
  • Data on the site of the French National Assembly
  • CityMayors profile
Political offices
Preceded by
Christian Olivier
Mayor of Évry
Succeeded by
Francis Chouat
Preceded by
Claude Guéant
Minister of the Interior
Succeeded by
Bernard Cazeneuve
Preceded by
Jean-Marc Ayrault
Prime Minister of France
  • French politics portal
  • Biography portal

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