Born in 1916 in Jarnac, Francois Mitterrand graduated with a degree in law and in political sciences. As a young member of Parliament, he places Europe at the center of his political action. He was appointed eleven times minister during his political career. In 1981, he became president of the Fifth Republic. He was reelected in 1988. The two terms allowed several social improvements: abolition of death penalty, 39hours workweek. He actively took part in “drawing” the new Europe, and creating the single currency. He remains a powerful figure of the history of French socialism and of the European construction. He passed away in Paris on the 8th of January 1996. The nation paid tribute to him with a day of national mourning.
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