45 Facts About Francois Mitterrand

1. Francois Mitterrand denied it, but I think there's evidence for it.

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2. Francois Mitterrand is not the usual English way of writing Francois Mitterrand, even though it's correct French.

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3. Francois Mitterrand was thus a leading proponent of the Treaty on European Union, which provided for a centralized European banking system, a common currency, and a unified foreign policy.

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4. Francois Mitterrand called legislative elections soon after his victory, and a new left-wing majority in the National Assembly enabled his prime minister, Pierre Mauroy, to effect the reforms Mitterrand had promised.

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5. Francois Mitterrand moved at once to carry out what appeared to be the voters' mandate.

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6. In 1981 Francois Mitterrand became the fourth president of France under the Fifth Republic Party.

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7. Francois Mitterrand picked Laurent Fabius, a young loyal Mitterrandiste, as his new prime minister.

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8. Francois Mitterrand died in Paris on January 8, 1996, at the age of 79.

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9. In 1990 Francois Mitterrand declared an amnesty for those under investigation, thus ending the affair.

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10. Francois Mitterrand died in Paris on 8 January 1996 at the age of 79 from prostate cancer, a condition he and his doctors had concealed for most of his presidency.

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11. Francois Mitterrand supported the enlargement of the Community to include Spain and Portugal.

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12. Francois Mitterrand initially opposed further membership, fearing the Community was not ready and it would water it down to a free trade area.

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13. Francois Mitterrand was opposed to German reunification but came to see it as unavoidable.

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14. Francois Mitterrand sharply criticized the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan as well as the country's nuclear weapons buildup.

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15. Francois Mitterrand supported closer European collaboration and the preservation of France's special relationship with its former colonies, which he feared were falling under "Anglo-Saxon influence.

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16. On 16 February 1993, President Francois Mitterrand inaugurated in Frejus a memorial to the wars in Indochina.

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17. Francois Mitterrand proposed a moderate programme and advocated a "united France", and laid out his policy priorities in his "Letter to the French People.

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18. Francois Mitterrand dissolved the Cour de surete, a special high court, and enacted a massive regularization of illegal immigrants.

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19. Francois Mitterrand continued to promote the new technologies initiated by his predecessor Valery Giscard d'Estaing: the TGV high speed train and the Minitel, a pre-World Wide Web interactive network similar to the web.

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20. Francois Mitterrand named Pierre Mauroy as Prime Minister and organised a new legislative election.

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21. Francois Mitterrand became the first left-wing politician elected President of France by universal suffrage.

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22. Francois Mitterrand projected a reassuring image with the slogan "the quiet force".

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23. Francois Mitterrand faced Valery Giscard d'Estaing in the second round.

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24. In 1969, Francois Mitterrand could not run for the Presidency: Guy Mollet refused to give him the support of the SFIO.

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25. Francois Mitterrand took the lead of a centre-left alliance: the Federation of the Democratic and Socialist Left.

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26. Francois Mitterrand visited China in 1961, during the worst of the Great Chinese Famine, but denied the existence of starvation.

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27. Francois Mitterrand justified his opposition by the circumstances of de Gaulle's comeback: the 13 May 1958 quasi-putsch and military pressure.

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28. In 1958, Francois Mitterrand was one of the few to object to the nomination of Charles de Gaulle as head of government, and to de Gaulle's plan for a Fifth Republic.

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29. Francois Mitterrand connected with the left when he resigned from the cabinet after the arrest of Morocco's sultan.

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30. Francois Mitterrand held various offices in the Fourth Republic as a Deputy and as a Minister, including as a mayor of Chateau-Chinon from 1959 to 1981.

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31. Francois Mitterrand promoted his movement to the British and American Authorities, but he was sent to Algiers, where he met de Gaulle, by then the uncontested leader of the Free French.

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32. Francois Mitterrand built up a resistance network, composed mainly of former POWs.

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33. Francois Mitterrand worked under Jean-Paul Favre De Thierrens who was a spy for the British secret service.

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34. Francois Mitterrand worked from January to April 1942 for the Legion francaise des combattants et des volontaires de la revolution nationale as a civil servant on a temporary contract.

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35. Francois Mitterrand had two failed escape attempts in March and then November 1941 before he finally escaped on 16 December 1941, returning to France on foot.

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36. Francois Mitterrand became involved in the social organisation for the POWs in the camp.

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37. Francois Mitterrand fought as an infantry sergeant and was injured and captured by the Germans on 14 June 1940.

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38. Francois Mitterrand was at the end of his national service when the war broke out.

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39. Francois Mitterrand became engaged to Marie-Louise Terrasse in May 1940, when she was 16, but she broke it off in January 1942.

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40. Francois Mitterrand took membership for about a year in the Volontaires nationaux, an organisation related to Francois de la Rocque's far-right league, the Croix de Feu; the league had just participated in the 6 February 1934 riots which led to the fall of the second Cartel des Gauches (Left-Wing Coalition).

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41. Francois Mitterrand studied from 1925 to 1934 in the College Saint-Paul in Angouleme, where he became a member of the Jeunesse Etudiante Chretienne, the student organisation of Action catholique.

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42. Francois Mitterrand is the only French President to ever have named a female Prime Minister, Edith Cresson, in 1991.

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43. Francois Mitterrand invited the Communist Party into his first government, which was a controversial decision at the time.

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44. Francois Mitterrand opposed de Gaulle's establishment of the Fifth Republic.

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45. Francois Mitterrand served under the Vichy Regime during its earlier years.

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