Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti (French: [manɥɛl vals], Catalan: [mənuˈɛl ˈβaʎs], Spanish: [maˈnwel ˈbals]; born 13 August 1962) is a French and Spanish politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 2014 until 2016.
Valls in 2019.
|Prime Minister of France|
31 March 2014 – 6 December 2016
|Preceded by||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Succeeded by||Bernard Cazeneuve|
|Minister of the Interior|
16 May 2012 – 1 April 2014
|Prime Minister||Jean-Marc Ayrault|
|Preceded by||Claude Guéant|
|Succeeded by||Bernard Cazeneuve|
|Mayor of Évry|
18 March 2001 – 24 May 2012
|Preceded by||Christian Olivier|
|Succeeded by||Francis Chouat|
|Member of the National Assembly|
from Essonne's 1st constituency
19 June 2002 – 3 October 2018
|Preceded by||Jacques Guyard|
|Succeeded by||Francis Chouat|
Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti
13 August 1962
|Political party||Citizens (2018–present)|
|Socialist Party (1980–2017)|
|Spouse(s)||Nathalie Soulié (divorced)|
Anne Gravoin (2010–2018)
|Relatives||Xavier Valls (Father)|
Aurelio Galfetti (Uncle)
|Alma mater||Pantheon-Sorbonne University|
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 for Essonne in 2002. He was regarded as belonging to the Socialist Party's social liberal wing, sharing common orientations with Blairism.
He was Minister of the Interior from 2012 to 2014 and Prime Minister from 2014 to 2016. 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. Following his defeat, he endorsed Emmanuel Macron despited having previously pledged to support the Socialist candidate.
In the 2017 legislative election, he was re-elected by a narrow margin as a Member of Parliament. He then left the Socialist Party and joined La République En Marche group in the National Assembly though not formally joining the party. In October 2018, he resigned from the National Assembly to run for mayor in the 2019 Barcelona Municipal election. He had previously been active in opposing the Catalan independence movement. He has been endorsed by centrist and anti-independence party Ciudadanos.
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 Terror. After Francisco Franco's victory, he was forced out of his job as editor. Valls' father was the Barcelona-born painter Xavier Valls (1923–2006).
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 Franco. Valls was born in Barcelona while his parents were there on holiday. He grew up with them at their home in France and became naturalized as French.
Rise in the Socialist Party (1980-2014)Edit
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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' union.
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-Essonne.
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 won.
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 candidates.
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 Royal. 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 2012.
Prime Minister of France (2014-2016)Edit
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 day. 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 Left.
After the 2016 Nice attack, he was criticised for saying that "France will have to live with terrorism." 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 began.
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 Cazeneuve. 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 January. In the second round, Valls was defeated in the second round, in which he received 41% of the vote to Hamon's 58%. The more left-leaning candidate unexpectedly defeated Valls and became the Socialist Party's nominee. Despite subsequently promising to support Hamon's candidature, Valls later declared his support for Emmanuel Macron of En Marche!.
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, declaring that the Socialist Party was "dead". The Socialist Party has started disciplinary proceedings against Valls, perhaps resulting in his expulsion. En Marche! rejected Valls's application to join, but said it would not oppose him in the election. Valls won reelection as an independent with 50.3% of the vote in the second round, but the result was challenged by his opponent, Farida Amrani of La France Insoumise.
2019 Barcelona municipal electionEdit
In April 2018, it was reported that Valls was considering an offer to run as a candidate for mayor of Barcelona under the banner of Citizens. On September 25, 2018, Valls announced his candidacy for Mayor of Barcelona in the May 2019 elections and declared that he was resigning all political responsibilities in France. He registered his own political party of municipal scope on 28 March 2019, Barcelona pel Canvi (BCN Canvi).
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 Third Way-er.
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") 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".
In his book To Put the Old Socialism to Rest ... And Finally be Left-Wing, he declared support for immigration "quotas".
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 city.
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."
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 alcohol.
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 protesters. When Catholics protested against "Golgota Picnic", he supported the theatre director in the name of freedom of speech.
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." In July 2014, following violent anti-Israel protests in Paris, Valls denounced what he called a "new form of anti-Semitism".
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."
Valls said after the 2015 Paris attacks that French society needed a "general mobilisation" against the appeal of "deadly" doctrines. 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." The comments on the Nice attack provoked criticism in France.
- Grand Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honour (France, 2016)
- Grand Cross in the National Order of Merit (France, 2016)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Merit (Senegal, 2016)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Isabella the Catholic (Spain, 2015)
- Commander of the National Order of Mali (Mali, 2015)
- Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (UK, 2014)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit (Spain, 2013)
- Knight of the National Order of the Lion (Senegal, 2013)
- Commander of the National Order of the Ivory Coast (Ivory Coast, 2013)
- Commander of the Order of Ouissam Alaouite (Morocco, 2011)
- Prime Minister: 31 March 2014 to 6 December 2016
- Minister of Interior: May 2012 to March 2014
- 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).
In 1987, Valls married Nathalie Soulié, with whom he had 4 children before divorcing. On 1 July 2010, he married Anne Gravoin, a violinist and winner of the Conservatoire de Paris' prestigious Premier Prix for Violin and Chamber Orchestra.
- La laïcité en face, a dialogue with Virginie Malabard, Paris, Éditions Desclée de Brouwer, 2005
- Les habits neufs de la gauche, Paris, Éditions Robert Laffont, 2006
- Pour en finir avec le vieux socialisme... et être enfin de gauche, a dialogue with Claude Askolovitch, Paris, Éditions Robert Laffont, 2008
- Pouvoir, Paris, Éditions Stock, 2010
- Sécurité : la gauche peut tout changer, Paris, Éditions du Moment, 2011
- L’énergie du changement : Abécédaire optimiste, Paris, Éditions Eyrolles, 2011
- La Laïcité en France, Paris, Éditions Desclée de Brouwer, 2013
- L'Exigence. Paris, France: Éditions Grasset. 2016.
- L'homme qui veut être le Sarko de la gauche, Le Point, #1820, 2 August 2007, pp. 24–27.(in French)
- Biographie de Xavier Valls Archived 3 May 2015 at the Wayback Machine on claude-bernard.com website
- Ana María Preckler, Historia del arte universal de los siglos XIX y XX, Editorial Complutense, 2003, vol. II, p. 509; ISBN 9788474917079. (in Spanish)
- Ratier, Emmanuel (2014). "Emmanuel Ratier répond aux menteurs de Canal+" (in French). E&R. Retrieved 29 May 2014.
- Press, Associated (5 December 2016). "French Prime Minister Manuel Valls to step down, run for president". Fox News. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
- "Les anciens de l'Unef, aujourd'hui au pouvoir, dans une situation inconfortable". 10 March 2016 – via www.la-croix.com.
- Fraysse, Bertrand, "Passeur", challenges.fr, 29 November 2007.(in French)
- Tchakaloff, Gaël. "Alain Bauer", Le Nouvel économiste no. 1292. vol. 4. 10 March 2005.(in French)
- 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.
- "Archives Manuel Valls – mai 2012 – avril 2014/Archives – Ministère de l'Intérieur" (in French). Interieur.gouv.fr. Archived from the original on 17 December 2013. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Manuel Valls : "Les militants du PS doivent élire Ségolène Royal dès le premier tour"".
- "Les resultats". Archived from the original on 7 April 2012.
- "French President Hollande names Valls as new PM". BBC. 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Manuel Valls nommé Premier ministre "de combat"". Libération (in French). 31 March 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "How the terror attacks have changed life for the French". Financial Times. 16 July 2016. Retrieved 4 October 2016.
- "Attack on Nice: French PM Valls booed at commemoration". BBC.
- Willsher, Kim (6 December 2016). "Bernard Cazeneuve named French PM as Manuel Valls resigns". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 December 2016.
- "Résultats de la primaire à gauche : Montebourg reconnaît sa défaite et appelle à voter Hamon". Le Monde. 22 January 2017. Retrieved 22 January 2017.
- "Benoît Hamon, vainqueur inattendu de la primaire à gauche". Le Monde. 29 January 2017.
- Chrisafis, Angelique (29 January 2017). "French Socialists choose leftwing rebel Benoît Hamon for Élysée fight". The Guardian.
- "French Left on brink of implosion as ex-PM Manuel Valls backs Emmanuel Macron for president".
- "Manuel Valls s'explique sur son refus de parrainer Benoît Hamon". Le Monde.fr (in French). 19 March 2017. ISSN 1950-6244. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- "Subscribe to read". www.ft.com. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- "Macron election: French ex-PM Manuel Valls wants to join En Marche". BBC News. 9 May 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2017.
- "Subscribe to read". Financial Times.
- "French Socialist party opens process to boot out ex-PM Manuel Valls". 10 May 2017.
- 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.
- Zappi, Sylvia (19 June 2017). "Manuel Valls élu de justesse, Farida Amrani conteste les résultats". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- "La apuesta por Valls alienta la expectativa de Cs de arrebatar las grandes capitales a Podemos". El Español (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 April 2018.
- "Ex-French PM Manuel Valls to run for Barcelona mayor". British Broadcasting Corporation. 25 September 2018.
- Segura, Cristian (3 April 2019). "Manuel Valls registra su propio partido". El País.
- "Registro de partidos políticos". Ministry of the Interior.
- Frédéric Martel. "Sarkozy/Berlusconi, Valls/Renzi: l'Italie, nouveau modèle de la vie politique française" (in French). Franceinfo.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Manuel Valls aime bien qu'on le compare à Matteo Renzi, beaucoup moins à Napoléon" (in French). Lelab.europe1.fr. 15 August 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Retraites: Valls appelle à un "pacte national" Archived 4 June 2012 at Archive.today. Retrieved 25 April 2015.(in French)
- Megahigh (29 August 2013). "Manuel Valls Raciste Anti Noir". YouTube. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "Opinion poll on "Les Français et l'affaire Leonarda"" (PDF) (in French). Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- 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.
- "A Evry, le maire contre le Franprix halal" (in French). Bladi.net. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Stéphanie Le Bars, "Manuel Valls, partisan d'une « laïcité exigeante", Le Monde, 1 April 2014. (in French)
- Eric Martin (10 January 2014). "Quand Valls défendait la liberté d'expression... à propos de Golgota Picnic, une pièce de théâtre antichrétienne" (in French). Ndf.fr. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- "France to ban 'anti-Semitic' comedian" (in French). Radio France Internationale. 27 December 2013. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
- Press, Associated (20 July 2014). "French youth go on rampage in Paris suburb after banned protest of Israel's Gaza offensive". Fox News. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
- "Cannabis: Valls en "désaccord total" avec la proposition de Vaillant" (in French). Tempsreel.nouvelobs.com. Retrieved 25 August 2014.
- Kim Willsher. "France to set up a dozen deradicalisation centres". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 September 2016.
- "French PM Says Some of Paris Attackers, Including Mastermind, Exploited Syrian Refugee Crisis to Infiltrate Country Unnoticed". TheBlaze. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
- "French PM Valls booed as he attends tribute to Nice victims". Financial Times.
- Manuel Valls va se marier en juillet, Le Nouvel Observateur, 10 January 2010.(in French)
- "La table de chevet de... Manuel Valls", Les Échos, nb60, 15 February 2008, p. 50. (in French)
- Manuel Valls ouvre les fenêtres de la musique, Radio classique, 16 May 2008. (in French)
- qu'il faut savoir de Manuel Valls Archived 13 September 2013 at Archive.today, lejdd.fr, 16 May 2012. (in French)
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- Manuel Valls campaign website for Barcelona mayor
- Manuel Valls' biography, on the French government website
- Data on the site of the French National Assembly
- CityMayors profile
| Mayor of Évry
| Minister of the Interior
| Prime Minister of France|