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'A great European has died', Hollande says of Helmut Schmidt

11 november 2015, 10:20

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday paid tribute to Helmut Schmidtas a "great European" after the former West German chancellor died at the age of 96, AFP reports.

"When he was chancellor he laid the ground for decisions later taken by (ex-French president) Francois Mitterrand and (ex-chancellor) Helmut Kohl," said Hollande, referring to the leaders who worked together on the European Unionproject.

Hollande said Schmidt was a great statesman who "always illuminated the debate".

"He always said you must let the market economy be, but must give it a social dimension," said Hollande.

"He was a man who, until his final breath, knew how to give a speech and especially to tell Germans that they had a role to play ... that it was within Europe that they should act," he added.

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