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Former French President Giscard d'Estaing admitted to hospital - aide

Former French Presidents Valery Giscard d'Estaing and Nicolas Sarkozy attend a meeting to mark the 60th anniversary of the French Constitution at the Constitutional Council in Paris, France October 4, 2018. Thomas Samson/Pool via Reuters

PARIS (Reuters) - Former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing, 94, was admitted to hospital on Monday after complaining of respiratory problems, one of his aides said.

French newspaper Le Parisien reported earlier that Giscard, France’s leader from 1974 to 1981, was in an intensive care unit.

Giscard presided over a modernisation of French society, allowing divorce by mutual consent, legalising abortion and bringing down the voting age to 18 from 21.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Writing by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Andrew Heavens