Former French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing dies at 94

2020-12-03 00:41:10 GMT2020-12-03 08:41:10(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

In this file photo taken on June 20, 2019, Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing applauds at the conference of the 50th anniversary of the election of Georges Pompidou to the Presidency of the Republic "With Georges Pompidou, think France: inheritances and perspectives" in Paris.

Valery Giscard d'Estaing, president of France from 1974 to 1981 and a key actor in European integration, has died on Wednesday at the age of 94, French media reported.

Giscard d'Estaing died Wednesday evening "surrounded by his family" on his property in Authon in Loir-et-Cher, west France, Europe 1 radio reported.

The former president had been hospitalized several times in recent months for heart problems. He had made one of his last public appearances on September 30, 2019 during the funeral in Paris of another former president, Jacques Chirac.

In 1974, after the sudden death of President Georges Pompidou, Giscard d'Estaing announced his candidacy for the presidency and narrowly defeated Francois Mitterrand in the run-off.

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 in 1979, which would give birth to the euro, Europe's single common currency, two decades later.