Valéry Giscard d’Estaing outlived his successors François Mitterrand and Jacques Chirac. Now the former French president and friend of Europe died of old age.
Paris (AP) – Former French Head of State Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has passed away The center politician, who served in the Élysée Palace from 1974 to 1981, died at the age of 94. The environment of the former president confirmed the corresponding media information to the German news agency in Paris.
Giscard d’Estaing was only released from the hospital in Tours, western France, after a five-day stay in mid-month.
Giscard d’Estaing was a staunch European and spoke out in the French public on EU issues until an old age. In the 1970s he formed an exemplary French-German duo with the then Chancellor Helmut Schmidt (SPD).
The tall Frenchman with an aristocratic attitude outlived his successors François Mitterrand (1916-1996) and Jacques Chirac (1932-2019). He still participated at the funeral service for Chirac in Paris in September 2019 – walking leaning forward.
Giscard d’Estaing also had a close personal relationship with Germany. He was born on February 2, 1926 in Koblenz in the then French occupied Rhineland. After the Second World War, he graduated from the French elite university ENA. He then rose to become Minister of Economy and Finance. After the death of President Georges Pompidou, he was elected to the highest office in the state at the age of 48.
Giscard carried out social reforms such as the liberalization of marriage and abortion laws in the Elysée Palace. However, towards the end of his tenure, he suffered from popularity, partly due to the affair surrounding a diamond gift from the Central African dictator Jean-Bédel Bokassa.
From 2002, Giscard led the EU Reform Convention, which presented a draft constitution for the renewal of the European Union. However, when the French and Dutch voted no in referendums in 2005, the project failed spectacularly. Subsequently, the EU Treaty of Lisbon adopted important provisions of the rejected constitution. In 2003 the European politician Giscard d’Estaing received the Charlemagne prize from the city of Aachen.
Giscard d’Estaing responded in June to an allegation of sexual harassment against him. “It’s all grotesque,” he told the French radio station RTL. A reporter from the WDR had accused him of sexually assaulting her. Ann-Kathrin Stracke told the German news agency that he “touched her buttocks several times after an interview I conducted with him in Paris in December 2018”. She confirmed that she had filed a criminal complaint for sexual harassment. The Paris prosecutor has opened an investigation.