Former French PM Michel Rocard dead at 85

Rocard, noted for his pro-Europeanism, died in a Paris hospital, his son said.

AFP| Updated: Jul 03, 2016, 06:43 AM IST

Paris: Former French Socialist prime minister Michel Rocard died Saturday aged 85, his son told AFP.

Rocard served as prime minister for three years from mid-1988 under Francois Mitterrand, two-term Socialist president who led the country from 1981 to 1995.

Mitterrand appointed Rocard to succeed future centre right president Jacques Chirac after a period of unprecedented left-right "cohabitation".

Born on August 23, 1930 in the Parisian suburb of Courbevoie, Rocard attended the elite National School of Administration ENA and carved out a high-flying political career in a revamped and modernised Socialist Party under Mitterrand.

Rocard, noted for his pro-Europeanism, died in a Paris hospital, his son said.

President Francois Hollande paid tribute to a man he called "a great figure of the Republic and of the Left."