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Former French prime minister Michel Rocard dies aged 85

Published 02/07/2016

Former French prime minister Michel Rocard has died
Former French prime minister Michel Rocard has died

France's former Socialist prime minister Michel Rocard has died aged 85 in a Paris hospital.

French president Francois Hollande issued a statement on Saturday regretting the loss of a "great figure of the Republic and the left".

The current French PM Manuel Valls said Mr Rocard, who died on Saturday, had been waging a "fight against disease". He did not elaborate.

Mr Rocard was prime minister from 1988 to 1991 under Socialist president Francois Mitterrand. He notably created a minimum allowance for poor people who had no other income.

Mr Rocard defended anti-colonialist views during the Algerian war in the 1950s and early 1960s.

He also developed his own political style in the Socialist Party in the 1980s, pushing for more pro-business and reformist policies.

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