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France’s former president Valéry Giscard dies of COVID-19

 Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a former president of France. — AFP/Files

PARIS: Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a former president of France, died of coronavirus on Wednesday at his family home in the Loir-et-Cher area of central France. He was 94.

As a conservative president and a descendant of nobility, he sought to make the French government more responsive to the people but was thwarted by an economic slowdown, demographic shifts and an imperious bearing.

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, the modern-minded conservative became president of France in 1974 vowing to transform his tradition-bound, politically polarized country, only to be driven out of office seven years later.

However, he decriminalised abortion in 1975 and created a minister for women’s issues. He also lowered the voting age from of 21 to 18, which was seen in its day as a big step for French youth.

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