Quote of the month #3

« Our house is burning and we are looking somewhere else.» Jacques Chirac

On 2nd September 2002, the alert was given. The French President Jacques Chirac called out country leaders on the state of the environment. According to him, « our house is burning and we are looking somewhere else. Nature mutilated, overexploited is not able to recover and we refuse to admit it.,[…] Humanity is in great peril.». It all started when President Chirac was reelected against Jean Marie Le Pen in 2002. Several months laters, he gave a speech at the World Summit on Sustainable Development that took place from 26th August to 4th September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. For two weeks, the leaders looked for an action plan and tackled issues like poverty, consumption, respect of Humans Rights and natural resources. Jacques Chirac decided to talk about environmental problems and human development. His speech set five main causes : firstly, he mentioned climate change and he called for all the country leaders to implement the Kyoto protocol. Then, he focused on the end of poverty through collective solidarity and financiary helps. He also dealt with the limitation of natural resources and pollution and finally the control of globalization. The planned actions that came out from this Summit were : the 2005 Charter for the Environment and an international tax of solidarity on airline tickets that would be named « Chirac Tax ». It would allow to raise funds for the fight against AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis. The French President Jacques Chirac was one of the first European presidents to establish as many laws for climate.


Jacques Chirac, the story.

Jacques Chirac was born on the 29th November 1932 in Paris and was a French President and Prime Minister. He was an only child and studied in Corrèze for three years, before studying in Paris. In 1950, he was a seaman for three months and he signed the Stockholm Appeal on Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. He came back to France and in 1951, studied at the Paris Institut d’Etudes Politiques until 1954. Moreover, he joined the Communist Party. In 1955, he started his military service. Then, after his military service, he got into ENA. On 8th May 1967, Jacques Chirac was named Secretary of State for Social Affairs by Georges Pompidou and in May 1968, he was named Secretary of State for Economy and Finance. 18 years later, in 1986, he was named Prime Minister thanks to the success of the RPR (Rally for the Republic). Jacques Chirac’s government reduced the companies’ constraints on dismissing employees and made the conditions to get the French nationality harder. Two years later, Jacques Chirac ran in the presidential elections against François Mitterand and lost with 45,98% of voices. However, Jacques Chirac did not lose hope and he ran again in the 1995 election. He got 20% of the vote in the first round and reached the second round, that he won with 52,64% of voices, against Lionel Jospin. Jacques Chirac took up office on 17 May 1995 and on the same day, he named Alain Juppé as his Prime Minister. Alain Juppé took many measures such as increasing social security contributions or trying to reform the civil service retirement system. But the Socialist Party won the legislative election and Jacques Chirac was forced to name Lionel Jospin as Prime Minister. During his term, he passed many laws like the Disability Acts of 1975, 1985 and 2005. The 2005 Act involved the creation of a departemental house for disabled people and established financial penalties on companies which did not respect the 6% quota (since 1975, companies must have at least 6 % of disabled workers). In 2007, Jacques Chirac said he would not run in the 2007 election and stepped aside for Nicolas Sarkozy. After that, Jacques Chirac became ex officio member of the Constitutional Council but he quitted his position due to health problems. In 2009, he published his memoirs. 10 years later, on 26 September 2019, Jacques Chirac died in Paris.

Justine Campo