Di Rupo, Elio (Belgium)

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Elio Di Rupo became prime minister in Dec. 2011 at the head of a six-party coalition, bringing to a conclusion talks that lasted 541 days. A French speaker from the Walloon region, Di Rupo is regarded as a pragmatist and a skilled negotiator.

Early Life

Born on 18 July 1951 in Morlanwelz to Italian migrant parents, Elio Di Rupo was awarded a PhD in chemistry from the University of Mons-Hainault (UMH). He taught at Leeds University in the UK from 1977 before returning to Belgium the following year to work at UMH and the Institute for Scientific Research in Industry and Agriculture.

He joined the Socialist Party (PS) and was elected a municipal councillor in Mons in 1982. In 1987 he entered parliament as MP for Mons-Borinage, serving until 1989 when he was elected a Member of the European Parliament. In 1991 he became a senator and from 1992–94 was minister of education for the French-speaking community, as well as minister for audiovisual policy from 1993–94. In 1994 Di...

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