Macron declares national day of mourning for Giscard d’Estaing on December 9

French President Emmanuel Macron said in a TV address on Thursday evening that France would pay tribute to the late president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing with a national day of mourning next Wednesday, December 9. The centrist former head of state died on Wednesday from Covid-19 at the age of 94.

Giscard d’Estaing governed for a single seven-year term from 1974 to 1981, when France made great strides in nuclear power, high-speed train travel and legalised abortion. The youthful statesman placed Paris at the heart of Europe in a post-war partnership with Germany and paved the way for the creation of the G7 group of world powers.

“His legacy of modernity will remain,” Macron said. “You can be certain that I will do everything, together with you, to keep that flame of progress and optimism alive.”

Addressing the nation on television, Macron explained that the former leader and his family had, “out of modesty”, expressed the wish that he not receive a national homage upon his passing.

“Next February 2, the day of his birth, a solemn homage will be organised at the European Parliament in Strasbourg,” Macron added.

Giscard d’Estaing will be laid to rest in “strict intimacy” on Saturday in the village of Authon where he last lived, some 200 kilometres southwest of Paris, his family said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

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