Balladur, Édouard

Balladur, Édouard ādwärˈ bälädürˈ [key], 1929–, French political leader, b. Turkey. He moved to France as a child and grew up in Marseille. A Gaullist and member of the Rally for the Republic, he served under Premier Georges Pompidou in the 1960s and was finance minister under conservative premier Jacques Chirac from 1986 to 1988. Appointed premier by President François Mitterrand after a center-right victory in 1993 legislative elections, Balladur pursued a crackdown on illegal immigration, privatization of state-owned businesses, and measures to stimulate the flagging economy, while generally preserving harmonious relations with the Socialist president. He challenged his former patron, Chirac, in the 1995 presidential elections but was eliminated after the first round of voting. Balladur resigned as premier after Chirac won the presidency, although he regained his seat in the National Assembly.

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