Giscard D'Estaing, Valéry (1926—)

Born on February 2, 1926, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing became one of the youngest French (assistant) ministers in 1959 and then full finance minister in 1962. When dismissed from the government in 1965, he founded a Center Right party, the Fédération Nationale des Républicains Indépendants, and slowly achieved a national stature by dissociating more and more from ruling President General de Gaulle. This was done very effectively, with short and easy-to-remember formulas, which showed Giscard d'Estaing's wits in political communication. In 1965, his critical support to de Gaulle was, for instance, expressed by a short “Oui,… mais” (“Yes…, but”) to the president, thus vividly articulating his reservations while supporting de Gaulle's reelection. His direct opposition to de Gaulle for the 1969 referendum was then not surprising, ...

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