Ex-Franch president Giscard d’Estaing dies at 94
Published: 11:39 AM, 3 December 2020
Former Franch president Valery Giscard d’Estaing
Former Franch president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, a leading advocate of European integration who led his country into a new modern era, died on Wednesday at the age of 94 after contracting Covid-19, confirmed his family in a statement.
Giscard, who had been in the hospital several times in recent months for heart problems, died “surrounded by his family” at his home in the Loire region.
“His state of health had worsened and he died as a consequence of Covid-19,” the family said in a statement sent to AFP, adding that his funeral would be strictly private, according to his wishes.
French President Emmanuel Macron paid tribute to his predecessor, saying Giscard’s seven-year term had “transformed France”.
“His death has plunged the French nation into mourning”, Macron said, describing Giscard as “a servant of the state, a politician of progress and freedom”.
Giscard made one of his last public appearances on September 30 last year for the funeral of another former president, Jacques Chirac, who had been his prime minister.
He started his political life as a parliamentarian in 1956 and served as minister of finance and economic affairs under President Charles de Gaulle from 1962 to 1966 and as minister of economy and finance under President Georges Pompidou from 1969 to 1974. - Anadolu Agency.
He became the 20th century’s youngest president at 48 when in 1974 he beat his Socialist rival Francois Mitterrand, to whom he then lost after his seven-year term in 1981 in a failed re-election bid.
With his death, France “has lost a statesman who chose to open up to the world”, added Sarkozy’s Socialist successor Francois Hollande. He hailed Valery Giscard as a “resolutely European” who helped strengthen Franco-German unity.
It was at Giscard’s initiative that leaders of the world’s richest countries first met in 1975, an event that evolved into the annual summits of the Group of Seven (G7) club.
Source: AFP, Anadolu Agency