Tag Archives: Jacques Chirac

That fabulous politician recycling machine that is the United Nations (example #1): Philippe Douste-Blazy

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In 2001, a local social movement in Toulouse called ‘Les Motivé-e-s’ won four seats in the French municipal council elections. Their campaign song ‘Allez Ouste! (Douste-Blazy)’ became a national hit and made the movement known across France. The target of the song and campaign was Toulouse’s mayor Philippe Douste-Blazy who was accused of managing the pink city’s fortunes in all too obscure fashion. Douste-Blazy managed to stay in power in these elections but he gave up his position as mayor three years later when he became, first, Minister of health and family under Jean-Pierre Raffarin, then Foreign Minister under Dominque de Villepin and Jacques Chirac. Like others who were close to Jacques Chirac he has disappeared from France’s political scene after Chirac’s fiercest rival Nicolas Sarkozy was elected French president in 2007. He didn’t fall hard, though. Since 2008 he is Special Adviser on Innovative Financing for Development at the United Nations, at the rank of an Under-Secretary-General, and Chairman of UNITAID. The innovative financing in question is a levy on airline tickets to finance HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis drugs in developing countries. UNITAID sees itself as facilitator. It does not have own projects but supports programs of other organizations. The creation of the organization goes back to an initiative of Jacques Chirac — does someone else hear the bells ringing?

In 2011, Jacques Chirac has been, by the way, sentenced to two years of prison (on parole) for the creation of feigned employments at the City Hall of Paris when he was mayor of Paris from 1977 until 1995. The scandal of ’emplois fictifs de la mairie de Paris’ is only one of several financial scandals involving Chirac and his closest aides; the obscure financing of his party and electoral campaigns, on national, regional and municipal level, have also been since long in the eye of the prosecutors of the French republic. There is no doubt that Chirac and his ‘clan’ (as his close party mates were often called) have solid experience in ‘innovative financing’… honi soit qui mal y pense…

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