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Xavier Bettel


Xavier Bettel (pronounced [ˈksɑvieː ˈbətəl]; born 3 March 1973) is a Luxembourgish politician and lawyer, serving as the 24th Prime Minister of Luxembourg since 4 December 2013 after succeeding Jean-Claude Juncker. He has previously served as Mayor of Luxembourg City, member of the Chamber of Deputies and member of the Luxembourg City communal council.[1][2] Bettel is a member of the Democratic Party.[3]

Early life

Bettel was born on 9 March 1973 in Luxembourg City. His father, Claude Bettel, was a wine merchant and his mother, Aniela, is French of Russian descent and a grandniece of famous composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.[4][5][6] After finishing the European School, Bettel obtained a master's degree in Public and European Law and a DEA in Political Science and Public Law from Nancy 2 University in Nancy, France.[7][8] He also studied maritime law as well as canon law at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. He participated in the Erasmus Programme.[9] For four years in the early 2000s he hosted Sonndes em 8, a weekly talkshow, on the now-defunct private T.TV television network.[10][11]

Political life

Municipal politics

In the 1999 communal elections, Bettel was elected to Luxembourg City's communal council, finishing sixth on the DP's list. On 12 July 2001, he qualified as a lawyer.[2] By the time of the 2004 legislative election, Bettel had significantly consolidated his position, and finished fourth (of the five DP members elected), giving him a seat in the Chamber of Deputies.[12] On 28 November 2005, after the communal elections in which he was placed fourth on the DP list, Bettel was appointed échevin in the Council of Luxembourg City.[2]

Following municipal elections on 9 October 2011, at the young age of 38, Bettel was sworn in as Mayor of Luxembourg on 24 November 2011.[13][14]

National politics

Bettel ran for the Chamber of Deputies in the 1999 legislative election, and finished 10th amongst DP candidates in the Centre constituency, with the top seven being elected.[15] However, the DP overtook the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP) as the second-largest party, and its members formed the majority of the new government as the Christian Social People's Party's (CSV) coalition partners. Thus, with Lydie Polfer and Anne Brasseur vacating their seats to take roles in the government, and Colette Flesch not taking her seat so as to focus on her role as Member of the European Parliament, Bettel was appointed to the Chamber, starting 12 August 1999.[2]

Prime Minister

In 2013, Bettel was elected leader of the Democratic Party, and in the 2013 election, led the party to a third-ranked position in parliamentary seats. On 25 October, Bettel was designated by Grand Duke Henri as the formateur for the next government.[16] He assumed his post as Luxembourg's Prime Minister on 4 December 2013. In the government's coalition of the Democratic Party, Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party and The Greens, he also holds the functions of Minister of State, Minister for Communications and the Media, and Minister of Worship.[2]

His policies were expected to include reforms on same-sex marriage, replace religious instruction in schools with general ethics classes and cut spending to maintain Luxembourg's AAA credit rating.[17]

Personal life

Bettel is openly gay,[18] and has stated that increasingly in Luxembourg "people do not consider the fact of whether someone is gay or not". Bettel is Luxembourg's first openly gay Prime Minister and, worldwide, the third openly gay head of government following Iceland's Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (2009–2013) and Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo (2011–2014). As of 2017, he is one of three openly gay world leaders in office, the others being Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach of Ireland;[19] and Ana Brnabić, the Prime Minister of Serbia.

Bettel has been in a partnership with Gauthier Destenay since March 2010.[20] In August 2014, Destenay proposed to Bettel, who accepted.[21] Bettel and Destenay married on 15 May 2015;[22][23][24][25][26][27][28] same-sex marriage law reforms had come into effect on 1 January 2015, after passing in June 2014.[29][30]

Honours and awards

Award or decoration Country Date
Order of Civil Merit (Spain) - Crosses.svg Order of Civil Merit  Spain 2007
NLD Order of Orange-Nassau - Grand Officer BAR.png Order of Orange-Nassau (Grand Officer)  Netherlands 2012
LUX Order of the Oak Crown - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of the Oak Crown (Knight Grand cross)  Luxembourg 2014[31][32]
BEL Kroonorde Grootkruis BAR.svg Order of the Crown (Grand Cross)  Belgium 2017[33]
Legion Honneur Commandeur ribbon.svg Legion of Honour  France /
PRT Order of Prince Henry - Grand Cross BAR.png Order of Prince Henry  Portugal 2017 [34]


  1. ^ "Xavier Bettel". Ville de Luxembourg. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Xavier Bettel". Bettel, Xavier: Biographie. Gouvernement du Grand Duché de Luxembourg. Retrieved 9 December 2013. 
  3. ^ Reuters (2013-12-04). "Xavier Bettel Is Luxembourg's First Gay Prime Minister". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2017-11-20. 
  4. ^ "Xavier Bettel, un jeune libéral pressé". Le Républicain Lorrain. 26 October 2013. 
  5. ^ "„Vielleicht nicht der beliebteste Premier"". revue.lu. 18 December 2013. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Xavier Bettel, un "fêtard" qui se remarquait". L'Essentiel Online. 5 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Wie Xavier Bettel als Student Party machte". L'Essentiel Online. 5 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Well-known Erasmus students – inspiring careers" (PDF). Programma LLP. p. 7. 
  10. ^ "TV Talkshow "Sonndes em 8" [1/2] (2005)". chienguidelux via YouTube. 2005. 
  11. ^ Strätz, Susanne (21 March 2007). "Luxemburg:Finanzmetropole im Modellbahn-Look". Der Spiegel. 
  12. ^ "2004: Circonscription Centre". Service Information et Presse. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  13. ^ "Xavier Bettel - Luxembourg City's new Mayor"[permanent dead link], Wort.lu, 10 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  14. ^ "Xavier Bettel sworn in as capital's mayor"[permanent dead link], Wort.lu, 24 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011
  15. ^ "1999: Circonscription Centre". Service Information et Presse. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009. 
  16. ^ "Xavier Bettel officially in charge of forming new Luxembourg government". Luxemburger Wort. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2015. 
  17. ^ "Luxembourg gets first openly gay PM". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 6 December 2015. 
  18. ^ "Je suis surpris de devenir bourgmestre". L'essentiel. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011. 
  19. ^ "Leo Varadkar, gay son of Indian immigrant, to be next Irish PM." The Guardian. 2017-06-02. Retrieved 2017-06-03.
  20. ^ "Luxembourg premier joins vanguard of gay leaders". Los Angeles Times. 20 August 2014. 
  21. ^ "Luxembourg PM becomes first EU leader to wed gay lover". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 2017-11-20. 
  22. ^ "Wedding this week: Bettel marriage grabs international headlines". Wort.lu. 2015-05-12. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  23. ^ "El primer ministro luxemburgués se casa... con su novio". ELMUNDO (in Spanish). Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  24. ^ Observador. "É oficial: o primeiro-ministro luxemburguês é marido de Gauthier Destenay". Observador. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  25. ^ "Xavier Bettel: Luxemburger Regierungschef heiratet seinen Freund - WELT". DIE WELT. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  26. ^ "Gay leader of staunchly Catholic Luxembourg marries partner". CBC News. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  27. ^ "Luxembourg PM first EU leader to marry same-sex partner". BBC News. 2015-05-15. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  28. ^ "Lussemburgo: il premier Bettel sposa il compagno Gauthier Destenay". Corriere della Sera (in Italian). Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  29. ^ "Luxembourg Prime Minister engaged to be married". Luxemburger Wort. 21 August 2014. 
  30. ^ "Xavier Bettel and Gauthier Destenay say 'I do'". Luxemburger Wort. 15 May 2015. 
  31. ^ Publié le samedi 14 juin 2014 à 11:45. "Luxemburger Wort - Xavier Bettel honoré par le Grand-Duc". Wort.lu. Retrieved 2016-12-17. 
  32. ^ Published on Saturday, 14 June 2014 at 08:31 (2014-06-14). "Luxemburger Wort - Bettel receives Grand Ducal order". Wort.lu. Retrieved 2016-12-17. 
  33. ^ Remise de la grand-croix de l'ordre de la Couronne à Xavier Bettel par Charles Michel on www.gouvernement.lu
  34. ^ GouvernementLU [@gouv_lu] (23 May 2017). "Dîner de gala au palais grand-ducal" (Tweet) – via Twitter.  /photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Forderofsplendor.blogspot.com%2F

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Paul Helminger
Mayor of Luxembourg City
Succeeded by
Lydie Polfer
Preceded by
François Biltgen
Minister for Communications and Media
Minister for Religious Affairs
Preceded by
Jean-Claude Juncker
Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Party political offices
Preceded by
Claude Meisch
Leader of the Democratic Party
Messrs Internationalé

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