Giscard d'Estaing, Valéry

Giscard d'Estaing, Valéry

(välārē` zhēskär` dĕstăN`), 1926–, French political leader, president of France (1974–81); b. Germany. A member of the national assembly at the age of 29, he was deputy finance minister (1959–62) and finance minister (1962–66) in Charles de Gaullede Gaulle, Charles
, 1890–1970, French general and statesman, first president (1959–69) of the Fifth Republic. The World Wars

During World War I de Gaulle served with distinction until his capture in 1916. In The Army of the Future (1934, tr.
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's government. He held the latter post again in 1969 under President Georges PompidouPompidou, Georges Jean Raymond
, 1911–74. French political leader, president of France (1969–74). Georges Pompidou taught school and then served in World War II until the fall (1940) of France, when he returned to teaching.
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, supporting European economic integration and closer ties with the United States. Leader of the Independent Republicans, a conservative group allied with the Gaullists, he ran for president after Pompidou's death in 1974, defeating Socialist François MitterrandMitterrand, François Maurice
, 1916–96, French political leader, president of France, 1981–95. Initially a supporter of Pétain's Vichy government during World War II, he joined the Resistance in 1943.
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. After losing to Mitterrand in 1981, he returned (1984–89, 1993–97) to the national assembly, playing a major role in unifying France's right wing. Giscard has also served in the European Parliament (1989–93) and president of the Auvergne regional council (1986–2004). In 2001 he was appointed president of the Convention on the Future of Europe, which was charged with drafting a new constitution for the European UnionEuropean Union
(EU), name given since the ratification (Nov., 1993) of the Treaty of European Union, or Maastricht Treaty, to the European Community (EC), an economic and political confederation of European nations, and other organizations (with the same member nations)
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; the draft failed to win EU approval in 2003, but a revised constitution was signed in 2004.
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