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Former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing dies aged 94 after being diagnosed with coronavirus

Sean Morrison
·1-min read

Watch: Former French President Giscard d’Estaing dies of COVID-19 at 94

Former French president Valéry Giscard d'Estaing has died at the age of 94 after being diagnosed with coronavirus.

Mr Giscard d'Estaing, the president of France from 1974 to 1981, had recently been taken to hospital in Tours, in central France.

Mr Giscard d'Estaing's office said he passed away in his family home in the Loir-et-Cher region.

"In accordance with his wishes, his funeral will take place in strict privacy," his office said.

 Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, pictured here in 2014, has died aged 94 (AFP via Getty Images)
Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, pictured here in 2014, has died aged 94 (AFP via Getty Images)

Born in 1926, Mr Giscard d'Estaing served in the Free French army that helped liberate France during World War II.

Charles de Gaulle named him finance minister at age 36.

As president, he helped forge a single Europe with his close friend, German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. Together they laid the foundations for the euro single currency.

Considered at the time a model of a modern president, Mr Giscard d'Estaing notably legalised abortion and divorce by mutual consent.

He lost his re-election bid in 1981 to Socialist Francois Mitterrand.