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Georges Jean Raymond Pompidou

(1911—1974) French statesman, Prime Minister 1962–8 and President 1969–74

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(b. 5 July 1911, d. 2 Apr. 1974).

President of France 1969–74 A graduate of the prestigious École Normale Supérieure, he became de Gaulle's adviser on economics and education in 1944. Pompidou held a number of government posts until 1954, and became director of the Rothschild bank. Throughout, he stayed close to de Gaulle, for whom he was the principal negotiator of the Évian Agreements. He was little‐known when de Gaulle appointed him his Prime Minister in 1962. De Gaulle, who was mainly concerned about foreign policy and desired to appear above all parties, left the day‐to‐day running of the government to him, which he managed with considerable success. He also built up a party machine to enable the survival of Gaullism after de Gaulle's inevitable retirement. Presumably because of his rising stature, de Gaulle dismissed him in 1968 in the wake of the student revolts, but by then Pompidou's position was strong enough to become the natural Gaullist contender for the presidency after de Gaulle's resignation in 1969. As President, perhaps his biggest achievement was to ensure that the Fifth Republic, and indeed Gaullism, could survive without de Gaulle. In fact, as President he guarded his power and influence even more jealously than his predecessor. He maintained much of de Gaulle's foreign policy, but was much more favourably disposed towards the UK, and much less enthusiastic about his predecessor's closeness towards West Germany. As a result, he no longer objected to the enlargement of the EEC (European integration). In domestic policies his presidency coincided with a period of considerable economic prosperity.

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