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Former French President, Jacques Chirac, Dies At 86

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Jacques Chirac, the former French president who championed the European Union, but whose later years were blighted by corruption scandals, has died aged 86.

Ex-French President Jacques Chirac Dies

“President Jacques Chirac died this morning surrounded by his family, peacefully,” his son-in-law told AFP. Chirac served two terms as president, one as prime minister, and took France into the single European currency.

The French National Assembly observed a minute’s silence in his memory. Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission and former Luxembourg prime minister, said he was “moved and devastated” to learn the news. “Europe is not only losing a great statesman, but the president is losing a great friend,” he said in a statement.

President Emmanuel Macron was expected to speak on television at 20:00 local time (18:00 GMT) to pay tribute to his late predecessor. Former French President François Hollande also paid homage to Mr Chirac: “I know that today, the French people, whatever their convictions, have just lost a friend,” he said in a statement.

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And another former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, said on learning the news: “A part of my life has disappeared today”, adding that Chirac “embodied a France faithful to its universal values”.

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Photo Credit: Getty

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