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French ex-prime minister Pierre Mauroy dead at 84

Friday - 6/7/2013, 8:41am  ET

FILE - This Sunday, May 6, 2012 file photo shows French Socialist Secretary General Martine Aubry, right, and former socialist Prime Minister, Pierre Mauroy after voting in the second round of the French presidential election in Lille, northern France. Pierre Mauroy, who as France’s prime minister implemented a wide range of radical social reforms under Socialist president Francois Mitterrand, has died at 84. Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Mauroy died Friday June 7, 2013 min a hospital in a suburb of Paris. He had been suffering from cancer. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler, File)

PARIS (AP) -- Pierre Mauroy, who as France's prime minister in the early 1980s implemented radical social reforms that made life easier for French workers, has died at 84.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Mauroy died Friday in a hospital in a Paris suburb. He had been suffering from cancer.

Mauroy served as prime minister from 1981 to 1984 under Socialist President Francois Mitterrand. His reforms included cutting the legal work week, lowering the retirement age and raising the number of paid holidays.

His reforms helped reduce poverty but also led to higher inflation and a widening budget deficit, forcing a government U-turn. He resigned in 1984.

President Francois Hollande said Mauroy "was a Socialist and he wanted social justice to inspire all his acts."

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