This Tuesday, November 1, Agnès Buzyn celebrates her 60th birthday. The former Minister of Health had a special bond with Simone Veil, his mother-in-law for several years. Return to this relationship that exists “Mark” the second wife of Pierre-François Veil.
Such a mother-in-law will never be forgotten. Agnès Buzyn, who celebrates her 60th birthday on November 1, had the opportunity to get to know Simone Veil well. From 1985 to the mid-1990s, duration of the hematologist’s marriage to the youngest of the prominent magistrate, Pierre-Francois Belo, the two women rub shoulders regularly. Together, the couple had two sons: Raphaël and Lucas, married to Nelly Auteuil since 2018. But what relationship does the former and future Minister of Health have?
This family bond has made a big mark Agnès Buzyn, personally but also in her journey. Minister in charge of Health and Social Affairs from 1974 to 1979 and from 1993 to 1995, Simone Veil was changed the lives of many women with his laws. Aiming to allow voluntary termination of pregnancy (IVG) changed French policy and made a certain Agnès Buzyn, 12 years old at the time, want to do the same when she was an adult. The movie Simone: the trip of the centurywith Rebecca Marder and Elsa Zylberstein, released in theaters on October 12, sheds light on the life of this struggle.
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Agnès Buzyn is proud of the legacy left by Simone Veil
“If I were a minister, it would be for this taste for working in the service of others. (…) I am in this ministry thanks to what Simone Veil bequeathed to me. (…) It is very symbolic and quite painful. Finding myself at the head of this ministry when he was gone was very emotional”Agnès Buzyn confessed to France Inter in the loss of his former mother-in-law, in June 2017. It was a month since he entered the Ministry of Health. 43 years after Simone Veil’s first steps in politicsled by Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
“Simone Veil embodies a model of determination and humanity in the service of others. He will remain an emblematic figure with an extraordinary personal and political journey”, congratulated Agnès Buzyn in a sober tribute published on the ministry’s website upon her death. An excerpt from his brilliant speech for the decriminalization of abortion in 1974 was quoted, proof of the minister’s admiration for his predecessor and beloved former father-in-law. “I would first like to share with you one woman’s belief — I apologize for doing so in front of this predominantly male Assembly: no woman happily aborts. just listen to the girls”he reminded, like some unforgettable lines.
When Agnès Buzyn said the “private” Simone Veil
In an interview given to Parisian in 2018, Agnès Buzyn poured into the woman in private Simone Veil. “He was modest, very close to his family, very warm, very loving. Very milky soup too. He can handle intense anger. She is a woman of conviction, she can be carried. But always in kindness”he was reported, transferred, before highlighting all these fights “heroine” was fulfilled throughout his life. “What guided him was above all human dignity. Everyone has their place. His only compass is the interest of the people. He looks for practical solutions. It was never invective or ideology”greeted Agnès Buzyn.
A few years ago, the future minister, now accused for his management of the health crisis, also testified to the disadvantages that this important relationship brought him in his career. In particular when he was appointed president of the Institute for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety in 2008. “Some of my colleagues told me that I was nominated because I was the son-in-law of Simone Veil”, he was so lamented in Release in 2011.
Photo credits: Pierre Perusseau / Bestimage