Xavier Bettel

Xavier Bettel
Prime Minister of Luxembourg
Assumed office
4 December 2013
Monarch Henri
Deputy Etienne Schneider
Preceded by Jean-Claude Juncker
Minister for Communications and Media
Minister for Religious Affairs
Assumed office
4 December 2013
Preceded by François Biltgen
Mayor of Luxembourg City
In office
24 November 2011  4 December 2013
Preceded by Paul Helminger
Succeeded by Lydie Polfer
Personal details
Born (1973-03-03) 3 March 1973
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Political party Democratic Party
Spouse(s) Gauthier Destenay (2015–present)
Alma mater University of Thessaloniki
Nancy 2 University

Xavier Bettel (born 3 March 1973) is a Luxembourgish politician and lawyer, serving as 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.

Early life

Bettel was born on 3 March 1973 in Luxembourg City. His father Claude Bettel was a wine merchant and his mother Aniela, French of Russian descent, grandniece of famous composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.[3][4][5] After finishing the European School, Bettel obtained a Masters degree in Public and European Law and a DEA in Political Science and Public Law from Nancy 2 University in Nancy, France.[6][7] He also studied maritime law as well as canon law at Aristotle University in Thessaloniki, Greece. He participated in the Erasmus Programme.[8] For four years in the early 2000s he hosted Sonndes em 8, a weekly talkshow, on the now-defunct private T.TV television network.[9][10]

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.[11] 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.[12][13]

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.[14] 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.[15] 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 in Luxembourg, replace religious instruction in schools with general ethics classes and cut spending to maintain Luxembourg's AAA credit rating.[16]

Personal life

Bettel is openly gay,[17] 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 and Belgium's Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo. As of October 2014, he is the only openly gay world leader.

Bettel has been in a partnership with Gauthier Destenay since March 2010.[18] In August 2014 Destenay proposed to Bettel, who accepted. Bettel and Destenay married on 15 May 2015; on 1 January 2015, same-sex marriage law reforms that passed in June 2014 came into effect.[19][20]


See also


  1. "Xavier Bettel". Ville de Luxembourg. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Xavier Bettel". Bettel, Xavier: Biographie. Gouvernement du Grand Duché de Luxembourg. Retrieved 9 December 2013.
  3. "Xavier Bettel, un jeune libéral pressé". Le Républicain Lorrain. 26 October 2013.
  4. https://web.archive.org/web/20140812202434/http://www.revue.lu/aktuelles/vielleicht-nicht-der-beliebteste-premier/. Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 August 2014. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
  6. "Xavier Bettel, un "fêtard" qui se remarquait". L'Essentiel Online. 5 November 2013.
  7. "Wie Xavier Bettel als Student Party machte". L'Essentiel Online. 5 November 2013.
  8. "Well-known Erasmus students – inspiring careers" (PDF). Programma LLP. p. 7.
  9. "TV Talkshow "Sonndes em 8" [1/2] (2005)". chienguidelux via YouTube. 2005.
  10. Strätz, Susanne (21 March 2007). "Luxemburg:Finanzmetropole im Modellbahn-Look". Der Spiegel.
  11. "2004: Circonscription Centre". Service Information et Presse. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  12. "Xavier Bettel - Luxembourg City's new Mayor", Wort.lu, 10 October 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  13. "Xavier Bettel sworn in as capital's mayor", Wort.lu, 24 November 2011. Retrieved 29 November 2011
  14. "1999: Circonscription Centre". Service Information et Presse. 7 April 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2009.
  15. "Xavier Bettel officially in charge of forming new Luxembourg government". Luxemburger Wort. 25 October 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  16. "Luxembourg gets first openly gay PM". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 6 December 2015.
  17. "Je suis surpris de devenir bourgmestre". L'essentiel. 11 October 2011. Retrieved 5 October 2011.
  18. "Luxembourg premier joins vanguard of gay leaders". Los Angeles Times. 20 August 2014.
  19. "Luxembourg Prime Minister engaged to be married". Luxemburger Wort. 21 August 2014.
  20. "Xavier Bettel and Gauthier Destenay say 'I do'". Luxemburger Wort. 15 May 2015.
  21. http://www.wort.lu/fr/panorama/ordre-de-la-couronne-de-chene-xavier-bettel-honore-par-le-grand-duc-539c182bb9b398870803689a
  22. http://www.wort.lu/en/luxembourg/order-of-the-oak-crown-bettel-receives-grand-ducal-order-539beb69b9b398870803686c
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Xavier Bettel.
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
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