Former French PM Michel Rocard dies at 85

Paris: France's former Socialist Prime Minister Michel Rocard died on Saturday at age 85, French authorities said. Rocard served as French Prime Minister from 1988 to 1991 under the presidency of Francois Mitterrand. He was briefly the first secretary of the Socialist Party from 1993 to 1995, Xinhua reported. Expressing condolences to Rocard 's family, French President Francois Hollande called Rocard "a great figure of the Republic." "Michel Rocard was a realist dreamer, a radical reformist animated by the movement of ideas, the fate of the planet and of human destiny," Hollande said in a statement. "Miche Rocard had a great conception of political responsibility. He insisted on straight-talking," Hollande said. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called Rocard "a fighter for the decolonization, for the decentralization, a world citizen, and a pioneer for the fight against global warming." "He will always remain an example of integrity, intelligence and passion," Valls said.