In the 87th year of life, one of the most famous European and French politicians of the 20th century Jacques Chirac passed away. According to Agence France-Presse, he died surrounded by a family.
“Jacques Chirac passed away this morning, surrounded by his loved ones,” said his brother-in-law Frederic Sala-Baroux.
The lower house of the French parliament honored Chirac with a moment of silence during the meeting. In Paris, in connection with the death of the ex-head of state, flags were lowered on municipal buildings, and condolences will be opened in all districts of the French capital.
“Paris is in mourning today. Deeply amazed and saddened - President Chirac left us. An outstanding politician and a great humanist, he left his mark on the history of our country, ”the acting mayor of Paris Ann Hidalgo wrote on her Twitter.
According to the Champs Elysees, September 30 will be the day of national mourning for Chirac. On the same day, a memorial service for politics will be held at the Saint-Sulpice Cathedral in Paris.
In addition, on the occasion of the death of the fifth president of the Fifth Republic, the current head of state, Emmanuel Macron, addressed the nation.
Former French President Francois Hollande described Chirac as a fighter who managed to build a personal relationship with French citizens. According to the head of the Senate of France Gerard Larcher, Girac was the "soul of France" and took both dark and light sides in the history of the country.
“With the death of Jacques Chirac, the lion of French politics left. He sensually loved France and the French, but was also a traveler around the world - from Africa to Asia, ”said former French Prime Minister Francois Fillon.
Chirac began his political activity in 1959, as an auditor in the State Audit Chamber. A few years later he became an employee of the government apparatus of Georges Pompidou. This politician became practically the mentor of the young politician and awarded him the nickname “Bulldozer” for his penetrative abilities and nature's stiffness.
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Purposefulness, perseverance and professional qualities allowed Chirac to succeed in various government posts. Already in 1967, he was elected to the lower house of the French Parliament (National Assembly). In 1972, Chirac became Minister of Agriculture, but two years later he received the post of head of government. He was appointed to this position by President Valerie Giscard d'Estaing, who replaced Pompidou after death.
However, after working for two years, Chirac resigned due to disagreements with the head of state.
“I do not possess the qualities that I consider necessary for the effective performance of the duties of the Prime Minister, and in such conditions, I decided to stop all this,” Chirac said in 1976.
He founded his own party, "Union in Support of the Republic," along the way in 1977, taking over as mayor of Paris. Chirac was the mayor of the French capital for 18 years, until 1995. At the same time, in 1986, the 4th President of the Fifth Republic, François Mitterrand, appointed him Prime Minister. Thus, Chirac became the first French politician to take this post twice. He again served in this position for two years, resigning after Mitterrand was re-elected for his second term.
It was him in 1995 that Chirac replaced, becoming the president of France for the next 12 years. His work was marked by social and political reforms, which were adopted in different ways by the country's population.
During his presidency, Chirac collaborated with two presidents of Russia. According to Vladimir Shevchenko (he was the head of the protocol of the President of the USSR Mikhail Gorbachev and Russian President Boris Yeltsin, as well as an adviser to Vladimir Putin in 2000-2011), Chirac advocated building good relations with Moscow.
Also, according to him, friendship was struck between the French leader and Yeltsin, they called up and corresponded.
“When Boris Nikolaevich arrived at Roland Garros, already not being the president of the country, Jacques Chirac gave him his box. Yeltsin was met and escorted as if nothing had changed in the posts, ”the Zvezda television channel quotes Shevchenko.
- Archive photo of 2010. Jacques Chirac and Vladimir Putin
- © AFP PHOTO / RIA NOVOSTI / POOL / ALEXEY NIKOLSKY
Note that for the current Russian leader, Jacques Chirac is on a par with Peter I. As Putin noted in a June FT interview, the Frenchman impressed him the most among the foreign leaders with whom he spoke.
“He is a real intellectual, a real professor, a very balanced person, very interesting,” the Russian president said. “He had his own opinion on every issue when he was president, he knew how to defend it, he always respected the opinions of partners with respect.”
We add that Putin and Chirac repeatedly met with each other at various events, once even fishing together in St. Petersburg. In addition, they, together with the ex-Chancellor of Germany Gerhard Schroeder, had a unified and principled position on the issue of the invasion of American troops in Iraq. In 2003, the heads of three states urged Washington to provide evidence that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.
“A whole era in the modern history of France is associated with the name of Jacques Chirac”
In a telegram of condolences on the death of Jacques Chirac, the President of Russia indicated that he “sincerely admired his intelligence and vast knowledge”, as well as “his ability to make informed decisions.” Vladimir Putin asked to convey the words of sincere sympathy to family members, relatives and friends of the deceased.
“Russia will remember his great personal contribution to the development of friendly relations between our states, mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation,” the text of the telegram says.
The Russian leader added that Chirac received “well-deserved respect of compatriots and high international authority”, since he was a “wise and far-sighted” statesman. A whole era in the modern history of France is associated with his name, Putin emphasized.
- Jacques Chirac
- © PATRICK KOVARIK / AFP
Alexei Kudrin, Chairman of the Accounts Chamber, who called Chirac “a great man,” and Mikhail Seslavinsky, head of the Federal Press and Mass Media Agency, also expressed their condolences.
“I remember a meeting in the Champs Elysees in March 2005, when French President Jacques Chirac and Russian President Vladimir Putin very warmly received a delegation of Russian writers during the Paris Book Salon. Jacques Chirac was remembered as a bright person who had a sincere love for Russian literature and personally worked on translating Eugene Onegin into French, ”the press service of Rospechat quoted him as saying.
According to the director of the Hermitage Mikhail Piotrovsky, the fifth president of the Fifth Republic was a man with whom “it was possible to talk excitingly about art”.