Monday, September 30, 3pm typantes, ten people present for the homage to Jacques Chirac at the French House quickly mingled with the wave of employees of the Embassy of France. While it is raining on the capital – something that has not happened for several weeks – Ambassador Philippe Etienne invites everyone to observe a minute of silence. In front of them, two lit screens, on which follow two photos of Jacques Chirac.

The voices of the choir break this minute of silence with the notes of the Marseillaise. "everything was said, begins by saying Philippe Etienne. Everything has been said about this son of teachers ", he continues, before recalling that for the former president "all cultures were equal", Referring to the musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, or to"its values ​​borne as tolerance ". He also mentions his speech of the Vel d'Hiv.

The ambassador does not fail to recall the sabbatical year of Jacques Chirac in the United States, "from Louisiana to Harvard". Philippe Etienne also recalls the former president's relations with the United States. "On September 11, he was the first to visit New York", But "it's also the one who said 'no' in the United States " during the war in Iraq.

The ambassador invites Christine Lagarde to speak. "He was a lucid visionary "she asks the assembly. The former Minister Delegate for Foreign Trade under Chirac, currently in transition from the position of Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund to that of the European Central Bank, shared some funny and touching anecdotes. "He never entered the ministers' room without looking who was there, while casting approving glances if he saw someone dressed elegantly, " she recalls, a smirk.

"He loved the beautifulShe continues, recounting how Jacques Chirac had appreciated a gift from New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, who shared her love for art. "I brought him this gift from my trip to New Zealand", she recalls, "he had looked for me in the room to thank me", She recounts, mimicking the president waving and winking. "He was an extremely endearing man", She declares, to the applause of the crowd.

"He had a human warmth", Says Brigitte Carton-Asfour, who came to pay tribute to the former president. It's his "no"To Iraq which has marked it the most. With a serious tone and a nostalgic smile, she concludes: "he was a man who deeply loved his people".


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