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Former French president Giscard d’Estaing dies aged 94

Accra, Dec. 3, (dpa/GNA) – Former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing has died at the age of 94, sources close to him confirmed to dpa.

He died at his home in the central French department of Loir-et-Cher on Wednesday from complications linked to Covid-19.

No date was announced for his funeral, which will take place with family.

Giscard d’Estaing spent five days in hospital last month in the French town of Tours but was released in mid-November.

The liberal Giscard d’Estaing was president of France from 1974 until 1981. His aristocratic manner earned him the reputation of being cool and technocratic.

After losing the 1981 presidential election to socialist Francois Mitterrand, he long harboured hopes of returning to the Elysee Palace until realizing he did not have the support he needed.

A pro-EU centrist who worked together with Germany’s former chancellor Helmut Schmidt, the two formed a strong Franco-German bond that, ultimately, helped pave the way for the euro common currency.

In May, the former president was in the news following allegations of sexual assault by a reporter for German broadcaster WDR.

The journalist lodged a criminal complaint in France, alleging that Giscard d’Estaing groped her buttocks multiple times after an interview she conducted with him in Paris in December 2018.

The Paris public prosecutor confirmed that an investigation was under way. Giscard d’Estaing denied the accusation.