Ex-French president Jacques Chirac leaves hospital
France’s octogenarian former president Jacques Chirac left hospital on Thursday and will continue recovering from a lung infection at his Paris home, his family said.
Chirac, 83, who led France from 1995 to 2007, was admitted to Pitie-Salpetriere hospital in the capital on September 18 after his doctors advised him to cut short a holiday in Morocco with his wife Bernadette.
A public outpouring of concern for the popular former president “certainly helped give him… the strength and energy he needed” to be allowed to go home, his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux told AFP.
Rumours circulated that Chirac had died three days after his admission, notably after former housing minister Christine Boutin tweeted “Mort de #Chirac” (death of #Chirac).
That prompted Salat-Baroux, husband of Chirac’s daughter Claude, to call for respect for the family’s “tranquility”.
The same day, Bernadette Chirac, also 83, was admitted with exhaustion to the same hospital where she stayed for four days.
The centre-right Chirac, who served two terms as head of state, is probably best remembered internationally for his opposition to the US military intervention in Iraq in 2003.
A small stroke while in office in 2005 weakened him.
He has reportedly suffered from a degenerative neurological disorder in recent years and is now rarely seen in public.
In December 2015, he spent two weeks in hospital suffering from what his family described as fatigue.