Humble tribute to former French leader Francois Mitterrand, 25 years after death

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French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday paid silent hommage to Francois Mitterrand, 25 years after the former Socialist leader’s death.

The first left-wing president of the Fifth Republic died on 8 January 1996, at the age of 79.

Along with a handful of Socialist Party colleagues, Macron paid his respects at 11am at the foot of Mitterrand’s grave in the small town of Jarnac, in western France.

He then went on to visit Mitterrand’s birthplace, which is now a museum. Macron was also accompanied by Gilbert Mitterrand, the former president’s son.

The tribute in Jarnac – a place of a pilgrimage for a quarter of a century, is the first in a series of ceremonies dedicated to François Mitterrand this year.

The second will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Mitterrand’s election on 10 May, 1981. Another, in October, will mark the 40th anniversary of the abolition of the death penalty.