Jacques Chirac | A key figure is contemporary French politics. ‘The long-time political hack first entered parliament in 1967 and went on to become mayor of Paris and prime minister before winning the presidency in 1995. Mr Chirac’s record in office was patchy. In his term, unemployment averaged 10%, debt mounted, the French said no to Europe, and the suburban banlieues [multi-ethnic outer-city districts] rioted. Upon leaving office, he was convicted of the misuse of public funds when mayor of Paris in the 1990s. His best claims to a place in history were his stand against the American-led assault on Iraq, and his recognition of the collaborationist French government’s role in deporting Jews.’ (‘Jacques is back’, The Economist 21st March 2015, p22).