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Key dates in the life of former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing

Following are key dates in the life of former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who died Wednesday, aged 94, of complications linked to Covid-19.

February 2, 1926: Valéry Giscard d’Estaing is born in Koblenz, Germany.

1944: Enters the École Polytechnique in Paris, graduating in 1951 from the respected École Nationale d’Administration (ENA).

1962-1966: Finance minister in the successive cabinets of Prime Minister Georges Pompidou (during the presidency of Charles de Gaulle).

1966: Establishes the Fédération Nationale des Républicains Indépendants, which in 1977 becomes the centre-right Parti Républicain.

1969-1974: Finance minister in the successive governments of prime ministers Jacques Chaban-Delmas and Pierre Messmer (with Pompidou as president).

May 19, 1974: Giscard d’Estaing is elected president with 50.8 percent of the vote against 49.2 percent for the Socialist François Mitterrand.

1978: The Union pour la démocratie française (UDF) party, made up of disparate democratic and centre-right parties, is formed in support of Giscard d’Estaing. He is the group’s leader from 1986 to 1996.

May 10, 1981: Loses the presidential election with 48.2 percent of the vote to Mitterand’s 51.7 percent.

1989-1993: Serves as a European MP.

2001: Giscard d’Estaing is selected by European Union leaders to lead work on an EU constitutional treaty. The draft is rejected in 2005 by French and Dutch voters.

2003: Becomes the first former head of state to be named to the elite Académie Française.

2004: Ends his active political career after losing his seat as a parliamentarian but becomes a member of France’s Constitutional Council.

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(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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