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Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1975).jpg
Giscard d'Estaing in 1975
20th President of France
Co-Prince of Andorra
In office
27 May 1974 – 21 May 1981
Prime Minister Jacques Chirac
Raymond Barre
Preceded by Alain Poher (Acting)
Succeeded by François Mitterrand
President of the Regional Council of Auvergne
In office
21 March 1986 – 2 April 2004
Preceded by Maurice Pourchon
Succeeded by Pierre-Joël Bonté
Minister of Finance
In office
29 June 1969 – 27 May 1974
Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Pierre Messmer
Preceded by François-Xavier Ortoli
Succeeded by Jean-Pierre Fourcade
In office
19 January 1962 – 8 January 1966
Prime Minister Michel Debré
Georges Pompidou
Preceded by Wilfrid Baumgartner
Succeeded by Michel Debré
Personal details
Born
Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing

(1926-02-02)2 February 1926
Koblenz, Germany
Died 2 December 2020(2020-12-02) (aged 94)
Authon, France
Political party National Centre of Independents and Peasants (Before 1962)
Independent Republicans (1962–1977)
Republican Party (1977–1995)
Popular Party for French Democracy (1995–1997)
Liberal Democracy (1997–1998)
Union for French Democracy (1998–2002)
Other political
affiliations
Union for French Democracy (1978–1998)
Spouse(s) Anne-Aymone Sauvage de Brantes (1952–present)
Children Valérie-Anne
Henri
Louis
Jacinte
Alma mater Polytechnic School
National School of the Administration, Strasbourg
Signature

Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing (2 February 1926 – 2 December 2020) was a French centrist politician. He was a member of the Constitutional Council of France. He served as President of France from 1974 until 1981. He also was Minister of Finance under prime ministers Jacques Chaban-Delmas and Pierre Messmer.

At the time of his death, Giscard was the longest-lived French President in history.

Presidency

Giscard won the presidential election of 1974 with 50.8% of the vote against François Mitterrand of the Socialist Party. His presidency was known for its liberal stand on social issues—such as divorce, contraception and abortion—and he also helped modernize the country and the office of the presidency.

He supported projects as the TGV and the turn towards reliance on nuclear power as France's main energy source. However, his popularity suffered from the economic downturn that followed the 1973 energy crisis, marking the end of the "thirty glorious years" after World War II.

Giscard d'Estaing had political opposition from both sides of the spectrum: from the newly unified left of François Mitterrand and a rising Jacques Chirac. In 1981, despite a high approval rating, he lost his reelection in a runoff against Mitterrand, with 48.2% of the vote.

Post-presidency

As a former President of France, Giscard d'Estaing was a member of the Constitutional Council. He also was President of the Regional Council of Auvergne from 1986 to 2004.

Supporting the European Union, he was in charge of the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the not successful Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe. In 2003, he was elected to the Académie française.

Personal life

Giscard d'Estaing was born in Koblenz, Germany. He studied at École Polytechnique and at École nationale d'administration.

Between 1944 to 1945, he was in the French Army during World War II, especially during the Liberation of Paris.

In 1952, he married Anne-Aymone Giscard d'Estaing. They had four children.

Giscard once made up a story about him having an affair with Diana, Princess of Wales.

Death

On 14 September 2020, Giscard was hospitalized under intensive care for breathing problems in Paris.

Giscard died on 2 December 2020 from problems caused by COVID-19 at his home in Authon, Loir-et-Cher. He was 94 years old.


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