Raymond Barre Biography
(Former Prime Minister of France)
Birthday: April 12, 1924 (Aries)
Born In: St-Denis, France
Raymond Octave Joseph Barre was French politician and economist. He served as the Prime Minister of France from 1976 until 1981. In his early life, he had to give up a career in medicine as he was called for duty by the French army during World War II. After returning from the war he studied law and economics instead of medicine and taught economics at the University of Paris and other places. Though he was politically an unknown figure, President Giscard was impressed by his expertise and knowledge in economics and appointed him as the Prime Minister. The economic reforms introduced by Giscard and Barre were considered detrimental to the French economy during their tenure in the government but as per Barre it was absolutely essential for its revival. Despite stiff opposition from trade unions he cut thousands of jobs, reduced the spending of government departments and in general tried to restructure the failing economy. He exhorted people to do hard work instead of grousing or holding rallies. He had to give up his post and also the reform process when President Giscard lost the 1981 presidential elections. He made an unsuccessful attempt for the post of President in 1988. He was probably the only Frenchman who became Prime Minister without having any party membership previously.