Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

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Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing 2015.jpg
20th President of France
Co-Prince of Andorra
In office
27 May 1974 – 21 May 1981
Prime MinisterJacques Chirac
Raymond Barre
Preceded byAlain Poher (Acting)
Succeeded byFrançois Mitterrand
President of the Regional Council of Auvergne
In office
21 March 1986 – 2 April 2004
Preceded byMaurice Pourchon
Succeeded byPierre-Joël Bonté
Minister of Finance
In office
29 June 1969 – 27 May 1974
Prime MinisterJacques Chaban-Delmas
Pierre Messmer
Preceded byFrançois-Xavier Ortoli
Succeeded byJean-Pierre Fourcade
In office
19 January 1962 – 8 January 1966
Prime MinisterMichel Debré
Georges Pompidou
Preceded byWilfrid Baumgartner
Succeeded byMichel Debré
Personal details
Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing

(1926-02-02) 2 February 1926 (age 94)
Koblenz, Germany
Political partyNational 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
Union for French Democracy (1978–1998)
Spouse(s)Anne-Aymone Sauvage de Brantes (1952–present)
Alma materPolytechnic School
National School of the Administration, Strasbourg

Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing (French pronunciation: ​[valeʁi ʒiskaʁ dɛstɛ̃]; born 2 February 1926) is a French centrist politician. He is a member of the Constitutional Council of France.[1] 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 age 94, Giscard is the longest-lived French President in history.

Presidency[change | change source]

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[change | change source]

As a former President of France, Giscard d'Estaing is 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[change | change source]

He 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 have four children.

Giscard once made-up a story about him having an affair with Diana, Princess of Wales.[2]

On 14 September 2020, Giscard was hospitalized under intensive care for breathing problems in Paris.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Giscard hints at affair with Diana". Connexion. 21 September 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  2. "Giscard: I made up Diana love story". Connexion. 24 September 2009. Retrieved 3 June 2011.
  3. "France's former president Giscard d'Estaing, 94, hospitalised". France24. 14 September 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Valéry Giscard d'Estaing at Wikimedia Commons