FRANCE

Farmers in Corrèze share fond memories of Jacques Chirac

Screen grab France 24

Jacques Chirac was a familiar face at the annual agriculture fair in Ussel, central France. FRANCE 24 reports from this year’s fair, where the former president’s presence was missed.

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It's a big day in the Corrèze calendar: the town of Ussel's annual agriculture fair, which brings together families, farmers and their livestock. Former president Jacques Chirac was often seen at the fair here, and once represented the area of central France in the National Assembly – it was his first elected political position.

This weekend, his absence was felt. Visitors at the fair remembered the former president as a man of the people.

“He came to visit us here, he was so easygoing, approachable. He chatted with everyone, always had time for everyone,” said forestry worker Jean Bilotta.

Locals in Corrèze are quick to describe a man who knew everyone's name, and who didn't leave the region behind despite occupying the country’s highest office.

“Mister Chirac was very close to farmers. He liked them for their frankness,” says farmer Jean-Louis Escourolle.

An ardent supporter of French agriculture, Chirac was instrumental in creating and maintaining aid for farmers.

Corrèze is set to hold its own tributes for Chirac on 5-6 October.

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