Pallbearers carry the coffin of late former French president Valery Giscard d’Estaing to Saint Hilaire church throughout a funeral ceremony on December 5, 2020 in Authon. Valery Giscard d’Estaing died from Covid-19 aged 94, surrounded by his household on December 2 on the household property. Giscard ruled for a single seven-year time period from 1974 to 1981.
DAMIEN MEYER / AFP
France’s former president Valery Giscard d’Estaing, credited with main social and technological reform of the nation and inserting it on the coronary heart of Europe, was laid to relaxation Saturday in a low-key funeral attended solely by household and his shut circle.
It had been the want of Giscard, who dominated France from 1974-1981 and died on Wednesday of Covid-19 aged 94, to have such a small-scale ceremony, which was attended by round 40 individuals.
The ceremony, within the city of Authon within the Loire area of central France the place he lived, contrasted with the lavish send-off for former president Jacques Chirac when he died in 2019.
Chirac was given a lying-in-state with 1000’s paying respects at his coffin in Paris earlier than a funeral ceremony on the Saint Sulpice church attended by all France’s residing former leaders.
That ceremony in September 2019 was additionally the final time Giscard was seen in public.
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“The president (Giscard) wanted the funeral to take place in the strictest privacy with family,” his son Henri Giscard d’Estaing instructed AFP on Friday.
“It turns out that the circumstances (due to the pandemic) mean that there would have been no other choice. We will therefore only have family members and the people who live around us in Authon,” he stated.
With police standing guard outdoors, his coffin draped in French and European flags was carried into the Saint Hilaire church in Authon, an AFP correspondent stated.
France will on Wednesday observe a day of nationwide mourning in his reminiscence decreed by President Emmanuel Macron, with individuals capable of write tributes in books positioned on the town halls.
Under Giscard, France made nice strides in nuclear energy, high-speed prepare journey and legalised abortion.
He ensured that Paris was on the coronary heart of Europe in a post-war partnership with Germany and likewise performed a key function in what would turn into the G7 group of main world powers.
But ambitions to carve out a deep place in historical past have been derailed in 1981 when he misplaced a tightly contested election to his Socialist rival Francois Mitterrand, who would rule France for the subsequent 14 years