“Germany has lost a great man. Whether in his role as senator in Hamburg, as Germany’s finance minister or as Chancellor, Helmut Schmidt understood what mattered and was a robust political decision-maker – especially in times of crisis.

Right from the time when he served as German Finance Minister between 1972 and 1974, Mr Schmidt had to deal with difficult global economic conditions. And when he held the office of Chancellor, he steered Germany through the oil and economic crises more effectively than was the case in many other countries.

We are beholden to Mr Schmit for his services in the field of international cooperation. He deepened the friendship between France and Germany, and enhanced European integration. Not only did Mr Schmidt and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing initiate the G7 format, they jointly laid the foundation stone for the euro as well.”