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Notable dates during the first term in office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy

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Notable dates during the first term in office of French President Nicolas Sarkozy
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2007 – 6 May: Sarkozy is elected, leader of the UMP conservative party, beating Socialist rival candidate Ségolène Royal. – 16 May: He travels to Berlin, for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel. – 27 July: He gives a speech in Dakar, capital of Senegal, widely criticised as racist by Africans. – 1 August: First reforms are adopted, giving more autonomy to universities. – 21 August: He signs a new law capping tax rates for the wealthy. – 15 October: He divorces Cécilia Ciganer-Albeniz. – 19 October: The 27 EU countries sign the Lisbon Treaty in which he claims to have played a key role.
 
2008 – 2 February: Sarkozy and former model Carla Bruni are married. – 12 August: France begins its six months as presiding nation of the EU. He negotiates a cease-fire in the Russia-Georgia conflict. – 25 September: In the heat of the subprime crisis, Sarkozy calls for a refoundation of the capitalist system. – 12 October: Leaders of the euro zone countries decide on a rescue plan for beleaguered banks. – 14 November: The G20 hold a summit in Washington at Sarkozy’s behest. – 1 December: He unveils a 26 billion euro stimulus plan for France.
 
2009 – 19 March: France formalises its return to the integrated command structure of NATO. – 22 June: Sarkozy announces major borrowing to finance projects for the future. – September-October: Former Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin is accused of false accusations against Sarkozy in the Clearstream scandal.
 
2010 – 28 January: De Villepin is cleared of all charges. – 16 June: Allegations emerge that billionaire L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt helped finance Sarkozy’s campaign in 2007. – 30 July: Sarkozy, in a speech in Grenoble, links criminality with immigration, targeting Roma. – 10 November: He reforms pensions, ups retirement age to 62. – 14 November: Minister for Labour Eric Woerth is removed from government over allegations in the Bettencourt scandal.
 
2011 – 19 March: France, with the UK, leads armed aerial intervention in the Libya conflict.
-11 April: French forces help oust Ivory Coast’s Laurent Gbagbo after he contests presidential election vote results. – 19 October: Carla gives birth to baby Giulia. – 20 October: Libya’s Colonel Gaddafi is killed by rebels. – 3-4 November: G20 summit in Cannes. – 9 December: All EU states except Britain and the Czech Republic agree on a new budgetary discipline treaty to fight debt crisis.
 
2012 – 13 January: Credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s downgrades France from Triple A. – 29 January: Sarkozy proposes higher VAT, lower social charges for companies, to boost competitivity. – 6 February: Merkel, on a visit to Paris, voices her support for a second presidential mandate for Sarkozy. – 16 February: He announces his candidature for re-election.