MADRID, 5 Dic. (EUROPA PRESS) –
The mortal remains of former French President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, who died this Wednesday, are about to be buried this Saturday, starting at 10:30 a.m., in the Authon commune (in Loir and Cher, in the center of the country) and in the strictest privacy, as his family has explained to ‘Le Figaro’.
The funeral will be attended by a maximum of 30 people, which will include only family and friends to fire the president, who died late on Wednesday at 94 years of age.
“The president wanted the funeral to take place in strict family privacy. It turns out that the circumstances mean that there would have been no other option,” explained his son, Henri, in relation to the pandemic. “Therefore, we will only have relatives (…) and the people around us in Authon,” he explains.
To guarantee “the privacy of the ceremony”, the prefect of Loir and Cher, Yves Rousset, will deploy a security device in accordance with the recommendations recommended by the Head of State due to the health crisis.
The former president died of the coronavirus on his property in the Authon commune, “surrounded by his family.” Giscard had been hospitalized since November 17 due to “heart failure”, as recalled by the newspaper ‘Le Figaro’. In this sense, “his health had deteriorated and he died of COVID-19”, as confirmed by his family environment.
In September, the former president had already been hospitalized for “a slight infection in the lungs.” In previous years, he had been admitted to hospital several times to undergo various angioplasties.
Giscard, who was elected as president in 1974, made one of his last public appearances on September 30, 2019, when he attended the funeral in Paris of Jacques Chirac, who was his prime minister from 1974 to 1976.
The former French head of state was only 48 years old when he acceded to the Elysee defeating François Mitterand and becoming the youngest president of France when he was elected. From a bourgeois family, he was appointed Secretary of State for Finance and later went on to head the Ministry of Economy and Finance on two occasions, the first from 1962 to 1966 and later from 1969 to 1974.
During his presidency, Giscard advocated for an “advanced liberal society”, and among the most notable measures of his legislature are the reduction of the age of majority from 21 to 18 years, the decriminalization of abortion, the approval of divorce by mutual agreement and the extension of the right of referral to the Constitutional Council.
Although many of his reforms had a marked social character, on immigration he was more conservative, tightening the legislation, while on international policy he played a decisive role in the creation of the European Council, since it was he who proposed its articulation and , with the support of the German chancellor of the moment, Helmut Schmidt, they finally got their birth.
On the other hand, his Government was also punctuated by disagreements, since his unstable relationship with his former prime minister, Jaques Chirac, ended up causing his resignation in 1976, after which Giscard would appoint Raymond Barre.
Despite this, Giscard had to face the economic crisis unleashed after the 1973 oil crisis from the Government, for which he had to deal with the increase in inflation and unemployment.
Also an economist, he lost the elections against Mitterand in 1981. However, he did not abandon political life and between 1984 and 1989 he would be a deputy of the Union for French Democracy (UDF) party for Puy-de-Dome and between 1986 and 2004, president of the regional council of Auvergne. He was also an MEP in the European Parliament since 1989 and in 2003 he was elected a member of the French Academy.
A convinced Europeanist, in 2001 he assumed command of the Convention for Europe, responsible for drafting a European Constitution, which would be rejected by referendum.