Valéry Giscard d'Estaing

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
Giscard1979 (cropped).jpg
President of France
In office
27 May 1974 – 21 May 1981
Prime Minister Jacques Chirac
Raymond Barre
Preceded by Alain Poher (Acting)
Succeeded by François Mitterrand
Co-Prince of Andorra
In office
27 May 1974 – 21 May 1981
Preceded by Alain Poher (Acting)
Succeeded by François Mitterrand
President of the Union for French Democracy
In office
30 June 1988 – 31 March 1996
Preceded by Jean Lecanuet
Succeeded by François Léotard
President of the Regional Council of Auvergne
In office
21 March 1986 – 2 April 2004
Preceded by Maurice Pourchon
Succeeded by Pierre-Joël Bonté
Minister of Finance
In office
20 June 1969 – 27 May 1974
Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas
Pierre Messmer
Preceded by François-Xavier Ortoli
Succeeded by Jean-Pierre Fourcade
In office
18 January 1962 – 8 January 1966
Prime Minister Michel Debré
Georges Pompidou
Preceded by Wilfrid Baumgartner
Succeeded by Michel Debré
Mayor of Chamalières
In office
15 September 1967 – 19 May 1974
Preceded by Pierre Chatrousse
Succeeded by Claude Wolff
Personal details
Born Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing
(1926-02-02) 2 February 1926 (age 91)
Koblenz, Germany
Political party National Centre of Independents and Peasants (Before 1962)
Independent Republicans (1962–1977)
Republican Party (1977–1995)
Popular Party for French Democracy (1995–1997)
Liberal Democracy (1997–1998)
Union for French Democracy (1998–2002)
Union for a Popular Movement (2002–2004)
Other political
affiliations
Union for French Democracy (1978–2002)
Spouse(s) Anne-Aymone Sauvage de Brantes (m. 1952)
Children Valérie-Anne
Henri
Louis
Jacinte
Alma mater École Polytechnique
École nationale d'administration
Signature

Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d'Estaing ( n/; French pronunciation: ​ [valeʁi maʁi ʁəne ʒɔʁʒ ʒiskaʁ destɛ̃]; born 2 February 1926), [1] also known as Giscard or VGE, is a French centrist statesman who served as President of the French Republic from 1974 until 1981 and who is now a member of the Constitutional Council of France. At age 91, Giscard is currently the oldest living former French president.

His tenure as President was marked by a more liberal attitude on social issues – such as divorce, contraception, and abortion – and attempts to modernize the country and the office of the presidency, notably launching such far-reaching infrastructure projects as the high-speed TGV train and the turn towards reliance on nuclear power as France's main energy source.

However, his popularity suffered from the economic downturn that followed the 1973 energy crisis, marking the end of the " thirty glorious years" after World War II. Giscard faced political opposition from both sides of the spectrum: from the newly unified left of François Mitterrand, and from a rising Jacques Chirac, who resurrected gaullism on a right-wing opposition line. In 1981, despite a high approval rating, he missed out on re-election in a runoff against Mitterrand.

As a former President, he is a member of the Constitutional Council. He became involved in the regional politics of Auvergne, serving as president of that region from 1986 to 2004. Involved with the European Union, he notably presided over the Convention on the Future of Europe that drafted the ill-fated Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe.

In 2003, he was elected to the French Academy, taking the seat that his friend and former President of Senegal Léopold Sédar Senghor had held.

Early years

Valéry Marie René Giscard d'Estaing was born on 2 February 1926 in Koblenz, Germany, during the French occupation of the Rhineland. He is the elder son of Jean Edmond Lucien Giscard d'Estaing (March 29, 1894–August 3, 1982), a high-ranking civil servant, and his wife, Marthe Clémence Jacqueline Marie (May) Bardoux (May 6, 1901–March 13, 2003).

His mother was a daughter of senator and academic Achille Octave Marie Jacques Bardoux, making her a great-granddaughter of minister of state education Agénor Bardoux. She was also, through her own mother, a granddaughter of historian Georges Picot, a niece of diplomat François Georges-Picot, and a great-great-great-granddaughter of King Louis XV of France by one of his mistresses, Catherine Eléonore Bernard (1740–1769), through her great-grandfather Marthe Camille Bachasson, Count of Montalivet, by whom Giscard d'Estaing was a multiple descendant of Charlemagne.

Giscard had an older sister, Sylvie (1924–2008). He has a younger brother, Olivier, as well as two younger sisters: Isabelle (born 1935) and Marie-Laure (born 1939). Despite the addition of "d'Estaing" to the family name by his grandfather, Giscard is not descended from the extinct noble family of Vice-Admiral d'Estaing, that name being adopted by his grandfather in 1922 by reason of a distant connection to another branch of that family, [2] from which they were descended with two breaks in the male line from an illegitimate line of the Viscounts d'Estaing.

He joined the French Resistance and participated in the Liberation of Paris; during the liberation he was tasked with protecting Alexandre Parodi. He then joined the French First Army and served until the end of the war. He was later awarded the Croix de guerre for his military service.

In 1948, he spent a year in Montreal, Canada, where he worked as a teacher at Collège Stanislas. [3]

He studied at Lycée Blaise-Pascal in Clermont-Ferrand, École Gerson and Lycées Janson-de-Sailly and Louis-le-Grand in Paris. He graduated from the École Polytechnique and the École nationale d'administration (1949–1951) and chose to enter the prestigious Inspection des finances. He acceded to the Tax and Revenue Service, then joined the staff of Prime Minister Edgar Faure (1955–1956). He is fluent in German. [4]

Other Languages
azərbaycanca: Valeri Jiskar d'Esten
Lëtzebuergesch: Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Valéry Giscard dʻEstaing
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Valéry Giscard d'Estaing
粵語: 季斯卡