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Germany's former chancellor Helmut Schmidt dies at 96

By AP Reporters

Published 11/11/2015

Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt has died aged 96 (AP)
Former German chancellor Helmut Schmidt has died aged 96 (AP)

Former chancellor Helmut Schmidt, who guided West Germany through economic turbulence and Cold War tensions, died, aged 96, at his house in Hamburg yesterday.

Mr Schmidt, a centre-left Social Democrat, led West Germany from 1974 to 1982.

He was elected chancellor in May 1974 after the resignation of fellow Social Democrat Willy Brandt, triggered when a top aide to Mr Brandt was unmasked as an East German agent.

Mr Schmidt's chancellorship coincided with a tense period in the Cold War, including the Soviet Union's 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

He and then-French president Valery Giscard d'Estaing also played leading roles organising the European Monetary System, aimed at protecting European currencies from wild fluctuations, which ultimately paved the way for the common European currency, the euro.

As chancellor, Mr Schmidt's confidence served him well in facing down the home-grown terrorism of the Red Army Faction, which grew out of the leftist student movement in the 1960s.

Belfast Telegraph

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