15:19 GMT18 January 2021
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    Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, known in his country as Giscard or simply VGE, served as the president of France between 1974-1981. D'Estaing was a prominent supporter of European integration and played a major role in constructing a common European space. During his latter years he became an author and a member of the French Constitutional Council.

    The Elysee Palace has confirmed reports of the death of the ex-president of France, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing, according to a Reuters.

    d'Estaing family said the ex-president passed away due to complications caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus disease, according to AFP.

    The ex-president's foundation also confirmed his death, saying that d'Estaing died at home due to the complications caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus.

    Earlier Europe 1 radio reported  that a former president died on Wednesday, aged 94. The ex-presiden d'Estaing had been hospitalized in the cardiology department of the CHU Trousseau in Tours since mid-November. The former French president reportedly had also been hospitalized in Georges Pompidou hospital in Paris in September because of a "slight infection in the lungs".

    d'Estaing was the 20th president of the France from 1974 to 1981.

    Over his last several years he was a member of both the French Constitutional Council and the French Academy, the latter a council for matters pertaining to the French language.

    Former President d'Estaing was the longest-lived French president in history, at the time of his death aged 94 years and 301 days.

    He was the youngest president of France, at the age of 48, before the election of President Emmanuel Macron. Along with Simone Veil, he achieved the decriminalization of abortion in France, advocated for the integration of people with disabilities into society and allowed divorce by mutual consent. D'Estaing is considered a great europhile, playing a large part in the construction of the European common space.

    Many French officials and European politicians, including the leader of the Lower chamber of the French parliament, Richard Ferrand, have expressed their condolences over the former president's passing.

    His political rival and fellow ex-president of France, Jacques Chirac, who led the nation between 1995-2007, died last September at the age of 86.


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