|22nd Prime Minister of Luxembourg|
4 December 2013
|Minister for Communications and Media|
4 December 2013
|Mayor of Luxembourg City|
24 November 2011 - 4 December 2013
|Born||3 March 1973|
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
|Political party||Democratic Party|
|Alma mater||Aristotle University of Thessaloniki|
Nancy 2 University
Xavier Bettel (Luxembourgish pronunciation: ['ks?vie: 'b?t?l]; born 3 March 1973) is a Luxembourg politician who has been Prime Minister of Luxembourg since 2013. He has previously served as Mayor of Luxembourg City, and was also a Member of the Chamber of Deputies.
Bettel was born on 3 March 1973 in Luxembourg City, Luxembourg Canton, Luxembourg. His father, Claude Bettel, was a wine merchant and his mother, Aniela, is of French-Russian-Polish-Jewish descent, and a grandniece of the composer Sergei Rachmaninoff. After completing his secondary school studies at the Lycée Hélène Boucher in Thionville, 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. He also studied maritime law as well as canon law at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece, where he was studying thanks to the Erasmus Programme. For four years in the early 2000s he hosted Sonndes em 8, a weekly talkshow, on the now-defunct private T.TV television network. In 2017, he also received an Honorary doctorate from Sacred Heart University Luxembourg.
In the 1999 communal elections, Bettel was elected to Luxembourg City's communal council, finishing sixth on the DP's list. Two years after his election to the local Council, on 12 July 2001, he was certified as a lawyer. By the time of the 2004 legislative election, Bettel had significantly consolidated his position, and finished fourth (of the five DP members elected), assuring him a seat in the Chamber of Deputies. 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.
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. 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.
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. 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 leads the cabinet with Co-Deputy Prime Ministers Étienne Schneider and Félix Braz. In his first term, he also holds the functions of Minister of State, Minister for Communications and the Media, Minister for Culture and Minister for Religious Affairs.
Following the 2018 Luxembourg general election, he became the first openly gay prime minister in the world to be re-elected for a second term. He began his second term when his government was formed on 5 December 2018., which he currently leads with Co-Deputy Prime Ministers François Bausch and Dan Kersch. The government is a continuation between the Democratic Party (DP), the Luxembourg Socialist Workers' Party (LSAP), and The Greens from the Bettel I government, with minor changes.
On 16 September 2019, following a short bilateral meeting on the status of Brexit negotiations, Bettel continued a press conference without British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after Johnson abruptly pulled out due to an anti-Brexit protest held by British citizens living in Luxembourg. Bettel gestured towards Johnson's empty podium and confirmed that the UK government had not tabled any concrete proposals for amendments to the UK's Withdrawal Agreement, particularly the "Irish backstop" that Johnson wishes to replace. This being despite the public pronouncements of Prime Minister Johnson and the UK's departure date from the EU fast approaching. Pro-Brexit UK media reported the matter as an ambush, whilst other UK and international media outlets largely saw the incident, and the reaction of pro-Brexit UK media outlets to it, as confirming the empty bravado and rhetoric of Johnson's premiership, the reduced status of the UK post-Brexit, and the increasing hypersensitivity and aversion of pro-Brexit pundits and politicians to criticism.
Bettel is gay, 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 2020, he is one of two openly gay world leaders in office, the other being Ana Brnabi?, the Prime Minister of Serbia.
On 4 July 2021, Bettel was admitted to hospital following a COVID-19 diagnosis on 27 June. The move was initially described as precautionary and for tests. It was reported that he experienced "mild symptoms" such as high temperature and headache. The following day, it was reported that he was in a "serious but stable" condition and would remain hospitalized. On 7 July 2021, the government said that Bettel would remain hospitalized a "little bit longer" due to low saturation of oxygen in his blood and said that he was recovering "little by little". On 8 July 2021, Bettel was discharged from hospital and will resume activities soon via telework for the rest of his isolation period. Bettel thanked health authorities for the treatment during his hospitalization.
|Award or decoration||Country||Date|
|Order of Civil Merit||Spain||2007|
|Order of Orange-Nassau (Grand Officer)||Netherlands||2012|
|Order of the Oak Crown (Knight Grand cross)||Luxembourg||2014|
|Legion of Honour (Commandeur)||France||2015|
|Order of the Crown (Grand Cross)||Belgium||2017|
|Order of Prince Henry (Grand Cross)||Portugal||2017|
|Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana (Member 1st Class)||Estonia||2018|
|Order of Orange-Nassau (Knight Grand Cross)||Netherlands||2018|
|Order of the Republic of Serbia (Grand Collar, Serbia's highest award)||Serbia||2020|
Le Lycée Hélène Boucher de Thionville est LE lycée de la Grande Région. Grand nombre d'élèves Luxembourgeois et Belges y font ou y ont fait leurs études. Xavier Bettel, entre autre, a été l'un d'entre eux.