Paris (AFP)

Jacques Chirac was "a form of shadow tutelary" for Edouard Philippe who said Friday that "to pay tribute" to the former French president was also to "describe the man in all its complexity", with "its contradictions".

"We feel the departure of someone who counted, who weighed, a form of tutelary shadow," said the prime minister on RTL, the day after the death of Jacques Chirac.

"In Jacques Chirac, there is everything," he continued, "absolutely remarkable, sympathetic, truculent, visionary and demanding sides, and more complicated, darker sides."

"Jacques Chirac was a Frenchman in the full sense of the term, with his aspirations, his contradictions, his ambitions, his moments perhaps in some respects genius (..) and then also more complicated phases, hesitations, sometimes renunciations, "said Philippe. Before summarizing: "basically to pay tribute to him, it is also to describe the man in all its complexity".

Mayor of Paris, several times minister, twice prime minister then president of the Republic from 1995 to 2007, Jacques Chirac "crossed the French political life for a long time, occupying the most demanding positions," said Edouard Philippe.

"It says something about his strength, his ambition, his energy that everyone sees and everybody is celebrating today." It also says something about his toughness and his ability to make choices, to discard, to overcome difficulties, "he said.

"It was also Jacques Chirac: a man with absolute resilience, agonizing insults, surrounded on all sides, traced his way, sometimes roughly," said the head of government.

Asked about the failure of the former head of state, notably to carry out a pension reform in 1995, Edouard Philippe retorted that Jacques Chirac is "like all political leaders: he could not say at the end of the exercise his mandates he had done everything.It's not the only one, it will happen to others and it will happen to me. "

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