Leo Varadkar is one of the few Western voices to criticize Israel's aggression on the Gaza Strip (French)
He is a doctor, politician and leader of the Fine Gael party, and Ireland's youngest prime minister (38) at the time of his tenure. He is of Indian descent and was publicly declared a "homosexual" in 2015.
He was re-elected prime minister a second time in December 2022. He is one of the strongest Western voices criticizing the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip after Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.
Birth and upbringing
Leo Eric Varadkar was born on January 18, 1979 in Dublin, Ireland, to an Indian-born father Ashok Varadkar of Hindu religion, and his mother, Miriam Howell, an Irish, Christian and Catholic, who works as a nurse.
Leo's parents met each other at work in Leicester, England, and married and lived for some time in India before moving to the suburbs of West Dublin to settle there in the early seventies of the 20th century. They had two daughters, Sophie and Sonia, before Leo was born.
Leo Varadkar in a speech to the UN General Assembly on September 22, 2023 (Reuters)
Study and training
Leo Varadkar received his primary education in Blanchardstown at St. Francis Xavier National School, Roman Catholic, which is run by the state. He then attended the King's Hospital Private High School in Palmerstown, a boarding school run by the Protestant Church of Ireland.
He studied undergraduate medicine at Trinity College Dublin with a Bachelor of Surgery and Obstetrics. He completed his training at KAM Hospital in Mumbai before obtaining a doctor's degree in 2003.
Functions and responsibilities
Early in his career, he worked as a non-consultant junior physician at St James's & Connolly Hospitals in Dublin, and in 2010 he was granted GP status. He worked as a general practitioner in the National Health Service in the United Kingdom.
When he entered politics, he held several representative and governmental mandates, having been elected in 2004 to the Fingal District Council and Deputy Mayor. In 2007, he was elected to the Irish Parliament for the West Dublin constituency.
From 2011 to 2014, he served as Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sports, and between 2014 and 2017 as Minister of Social Protection and Minister of Health.
He was appointed Prime Minister on 14 June 2017, becoming Ireland's youngest Prime Minister (38) at the time of his appointment. He continued in the position until 2020, after which he served as Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment until December 2022, when he was appointed Prime Minister for the second time.
Leo Varadkar entered politics as a high school student, belonged to the youth of the Christian Liberal and Democratic Party (Fine Gael) and served as vice president of the European People's Party (a mix of center-right youth political groups in Europe).
He was selected to participate in the Washington-Ireland Service and Leadership Program, which over half a year helped shape and develop his personal and professional skills.
He ran in 1999 at the age of 20 for the local government but was unsuccessful, and was appointed in 2003 to the provincial council of Fingal, and became the focus of attention after his success in 2004 in local elections, where he received the highest percentage of votes in the country from the first round, and served as deputy mayor of Fingal.
He rose to prominence within his own party and within the country's political scene, and in 2007 he was elected to the Irish Parliament representing the constituency of Western Ireland. His ability to speak and speak outspoken prompted the party leader to appoint him as a spokesman for enterprise, trade and employment, and later as a spokesperson for telecommunications, energy and natural resources.
Described by his rivals as "arrogant", "deceitful and cunning", his rivals sparked controversy by proposing to give unemployed immigrants assistance in exchange for returning home, even though he is the son of an immigrant and not of Irish origin.
After Fine Gael's participation in the coalition government following the February 2011 election, Leo Varadkar was appointed Minister of Transport, Tourism and Sport and in the same year was re-elected to the Irish Parliament. In 2014, he became Minister of Health, fulfilling his childhood wish.
He sparked controversy in the Irish press on January 18, 2015, when he declared himself "gay" in an interview with national radio, four months before the Irish agreed in a national referendum to legalize gay marriage.
In May 2016, he became Minister of Social Protection, introducing a major reform Social Care and Pensions Bill, and was re-elected for the third time to the Irish Parliament in February 2016.
He became leader of the Fine Gael party in May 2017 and was appointed prime minister in June of the same year at the age of 38. He remained in office until 2020, worked to strengthen the economy, and organized a referendum on abortion in 2018, which he did not like and hoped to reduce and demanded reduction.
He opposed Brexit and said its consequences had not been thought out, seeing it as self-harm, warning of the impact on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, undermining the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement.
For this reason, after Brexit, he sought a trade deal in 2019 with Britain, called the "Northern Ireland Protocol", to avoid the return of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, but the protocol did not do so and remained a subject of tension between London, Dublin and Brussels.
Leo Varadkar took several positions in the Irish government, sealing them as prime minister (Reuters)
The American magazine "Time" considered him one of the most influential leaders in the world in 2018, and he was one of the prominent Western voices who strongly criticized Israel after its aggression on the Gaza Strip following the "Al-Aqsa Flood" operation launched by the resistance on October 2023, <> on the settlements surrounding Gaza.
Leo Varadkar called the Israeli aggression on Gaza a "vindictive behavior," and accused countries in the European Union and the West of "double standards" in their dealings with the Palestinian issue, and said that "not taking a reaction against Israel is similar to the absolute rejection of what Russian President Vladimir Putin did in Ukraine is seen as double standards."
His positions made the Israeli Foreign Ministry summon the Irish ambassador, and demanded a position condemning the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), and strongly criticized his talk about the return of a missing Israeli child with Irish citizenship, and not describing her as kidnapped in the Gaza Strip.
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