Macron expresses condolences over death of French ex-president Valery Giscard d’Estaing

French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday expressed condolences over the death of the country’s former president, Valery Giscard d’Estaing.

“The direction he set for France still guides our way … his death has plunged the French nation into mourning,” Macron said in a statement, describing his predecessor as “a servant of the state, a politician of progress and freedom.”

Giscard d’Estaing, president of France from 1974 to 1981 and a key actor in European integration, died Wednesday evening at the age of 94 in Loir-et-Cher, west France, French media Europe 1 radio reported.

During his seven years at Elysee, Giscard d’Estaing firmly supported European integration and worked with Germany’s former chancellor Helmut Schmidt to create the European Monetary System (EMS) in 1979, which later gave birth to the euro, Europe’s single common currency.

The former president was hospitalized several times recently for heart problems. His last public appearances included attendance at the funeral of Jacques Chirac, another former president, in September 2019.