Karolos Papoulias (Greek: Κάρολος Παπούλιας [ˈkarolos paˈpuʎas]; 4 June 1929 – 26 December 2021) was a Greek politician who served as the president of Greece from 2005 to 2015.[1]

Karolos Papoulias
Κάρολος Παπούλιας
Papoulias in 2009
President of Greece
In office
12 March 2005 – 13 March 2015
Prime MinisterKostas Karamanlis
George Papandreou
Lucas Papademos
Panagiotis Pikrammenos
Antonis Samaras
Alexis Tsipras
Preceded byKonstantinos Stephanopoulos
Succeeded byProkopis Pavlopoulos
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
13 October 1993 – 22 January 1996
Prime MinisterAndreas Papandreou
Preceded byMichalis Papakonstantinou
Succeeded byTheodoros Pangalos
In office
26 July 1985 – 2 July 1989
Prime MinisterAndreas Papandreou
Preceded byIoannis Charalambopoulos
Succeeded byTzannis Tzannetakis
Member of the Hellenic Parliament
In office
20 November 1977 – 7 March 2004
Personal details
Born(1929-06-04)4 June 1929
Molyvdoskepastos, Ioannina, Greece
Died26 December 2021(2021-12-26) (aged 92)
Athens, Greece
Resting placeIoannina Island, Greece
Political partyPanhellenic Socialist Movement
SpouseMary Panou
Alma materUniversity of Athens
University of Milan
University of Cologne

A member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), he previously served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1985 to 1989 and again from 1993 until 1996.[2]

Early life edit

Karolos Papoulias was born in the village of Molyvdoskepastos,[3] Ioannina on 4 June 1929,[4] and was the son of Major General Gregorios Papoulias.[5][6] He attended primary school in Pogoniani and secondary schools in Pogoniani, Zosimaia School in Ioannina, and in the Paleo Faliro and Pangrati districts of Athens. The Nazi invasion of Greece in April 1941 caught him studying in Pogoniani and Papoulias joined the armed resistance against the Germans.[7] He obtained a law degree from the University of Athens, a master's degree in public international law and international relations from the University of Milan, and a doctorate in private international law from the University of Cologne with a doctoral thesis entitled: "Erwerb und Verlust des unmittelbaren Besitzes im griechishen und deutschen Recht" ("The acquisition and loss of immediate possession in Greek and German law").[3] He was in West Germany at the time of the 1967 coup d'état and Papoulias headed the organization of the Democratic Socialist Union Abroad, which was responsible for mobilizing Greek workers, students and scientists in Europe against the new junta of the Colonels.[7] He also founded the first trade union organization of the resistance and collaborated with the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.[7]

Papoulias was an associate of the Munich Institute for Southeast Europe.[7] A onetime pole vault national champion and national volleyball team player,[7] Papoulias was chairman of the National Sports Association.[7] He was also a founding member and president of the Association for the Greek Linguistic Heritage.[8]

Papoulias was active in the left-wing EPON youth as a young man.[9]

Role in PASOK, parliamentary, and government offices edit

Papoulias was a founding member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and a close associate of its leader Andreas Papandreou. From December 1974 on he was continually elected to the PASOK Central Committee. He was also member of the Coordination Council, the Executive Bureau and the Political Secretariat, as well as Secretary of the PASOK International Relations Committee from April 1975 to 1985. For a number of years he was also a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Socialist and Progressive Parties of the Mediterranean.[8]

He was first elected to the Greek Parliament in 1977 for Ioannina,[3] and held his seat continuously through the subsequent legislative elections until his 2004 election as President of the Republic.[8] Under Andreas Papandreou government, Papoulias was deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, from 1981 to 1985, and from 1985 to 1989 and from 1993 to 1996, Minister of Foreign Affairs.[7] During the ecumenical government of Xenophon Zolotas he served as deputy minister of National Defense between 1989 and 1990.[7] During Costas Simitis' first ministerial term, he was for several years, from 1998 to 2004, president of the Permanent Committee of National Defense and Foreign Affairs.[7]

Minister for Foreign Affairs: 1985–1989, 1993–1996 edit

In the 1980s, Papoulias played a key role in trying to reach a solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. He mediated a safe departure of trapped Palestinian militants and Yasser Arafat from Lebanon aboard Greek vessels in 1983.[7] He created diplomatic relations with the Arab world and achieved the normalization of relations between Greece and Egypt and the establishment of tripartite cooperation between Iran, Armenia, and Greece.[7] He held talks with a total of 12 Turkish Foreign Ministers to normalize Greco-Turkish relations.[7] This resulted in the signing of the Papoulias-Yılmaz memorandum in 1988.[10]

He supported Turkey's European aspirations conditional on their respect for international law and European Union values.[11]

In his term between 1993 and 1996 and particularly at the crucial Essen Summit he played an important role in starting accession talks between the Republic of Cyprus and the European Union.[10]

As president-in-office of the European Union and member of the contact group for the former Yugoslavia he worked to bring about a resolution of the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He signed the Interim Agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, aiming at the establishment of better relations between that nation and Greece.[12]

He was very interested in relations between Greece and the Balkan states and it was upon his initiative that the first meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs of the Balkans was organized in Belgrade in 1988. There, he began talks with Bulgaria and the then Soviet Union on the Burgas-Alexandroupolis oil pipeline.[12]

He was responsible for the signing of the protocol of mutual civil and military assistance with Bulgaria in the 1980s. He restored friendly and neighbourly relations with Albania by ending the state of war between that country and Greece.[13]

Papoulias was supportive of any step towards détente, peace, and disarmament e.g. the "Initiative of the Six" for peace and disarmament, the participation of Greece in the Conference on Disarmament and Peace in Europe and in the Conference for the Abolition of Chemical Weapons, his proposals to create a nuclear-free zone in the Balkans and the promotion of the idea of making the Mediterranean a sea of peace and cooperation. The JANNINA 1 tripartite cooperation conference, between Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania, was his idea and he was a strong supporter of the Black Sea Conference, which he also chaired.[14]

With his visit to Washington, D.C. in 1985 and the return visit of Secretary of State George Shultz, he revitalized Greek-U.S. relations which had gone through a delicate phase during the previous years.[12]

Presidency edit

First term: 2005–2010 edit

Papoulias with Indian president A. P. J. Abdul Kalam in Athens, 26 April 2007

On 12 December 2004, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, leader of the governing New Democracy party, and George Papandreou, leader of the PASOK opposition, nominated Papoulias for the presidency. That same day Karamanlis made it public in a televised message. In fact, he had already communicated this decision to Papoulias in a phone call on 5 December, as he had been discussing his candidacy with him since the summer. Papoulias won over the other four candidates that PASOK and ND had been negotiating.[15][16] On 8 February 2005, he was elected by 279 of 300 votes to a five-year term.[17] He was sworn in as the 6th President of the Third Hellenic Republic on 12 March 2005, succeeding Konstantinos Stephanopoulos.[18]

In December 2008, the police killing of a 15-year-old protester, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, sparked four days of riots in Athens. Papoulias called for calm to "honor Alexis' memory peacefully".[19]

At the inauguration of the Acropolis Museum on 20 June 2009, Papoulias demanded the return of the Elgin Marbles from the United Kingdom, which were torn from the Parthenon by the British, because "it is time to heal the wounds of the monument with the return of the marbles that belong to it".[20]

Second term: 2010–2015 edit

President Karolos Papoulias with Prime Minister George Papandreou on 5 November 2011
Papoulias in a meeting with Papandreou, Samaras and Georgios Karatzaferis on 10 November 2011.

After securing the support of the two major political parties, Papoulias was re-elected to a second and final term on 3 February 2010 with a parliamentary majority of 266 votes.[21] His second term in office was mired in the country's worsening financial crisis and large demonstrations and protests. This resulted in successive changes of government of different political orientations, with the appointment of conservative, socialist, socialist-conservative and left-wing governments.[22]

Following the government's agreement with the International Monetary Fund on 3 May 2010, Papoulias expressed on 5 May that "our country has reached the limit of disaster" after the general strike that day turned violent and in which three bank workers were killed when the offices were set on fire by protesters.[23][24]

On 28 October 2011, Greece's national day, protests occurred throughout the country. In Thessaloniki, protesters managed to prevent the annual military parade from taking place and chanted slogans against Papoulias, calling him, among other things, a "traitor" and he was forced to leave the area. On that day Papoulias' emotional statement is remembered, in which he said that "I became a guerrilla when I was fifteen years old to fight against Nazism".[25][26]

George Papandreou offered Papoulias his resignation as Prime Minister on 5 November 2011 to secure approval of the €130 billion euro bailout deal,[27] and he appointed Lucas Papademos as his caretaker successor on 10 November.[28] Papademos resigned few months after, in April 2012 and asked Papoulias to dissolve the Parliament and call for a snap election, scheduled for 6 May of that year.[29]

On 15 February 2012 Papoulias resigned his salary as president. A few months later it was revealed that his salary was not withdrawn, but decreased.[23]

That same month, when Wolfgang Schäuble, the German finance minister, said that Greece should delay its elections and install a technocratic government, Papoulias replied that "we are all obliged to work hard to overcome this crisis, but we cannot accept Mr. Schäuble's insults. Who is Mr. Schäuble to insult Greece? Who are these Dutch? who are these Finns? We have always defended not only the freedom of our country, but the freedom of Europe".[30]

After no party won an absolute majority of seats in the May 2012 legislative election, Papoulias called all party leaders to a meeting on 13 May following the terms of section 37 of the constitution, in a final attempt to form a national unity government.[31][32] After he had met with all represented parties over the course of the day, he decided to call for a second meeting the next day with the PASOK, ND and DIMAR.[33] The talks failed on 15 May, with an early election expected in June.[34] So Papopulias appointed a caretaker cabinet under Council of State president Panagiotis Pikrammenos on 16 May, and the election date set for 17 June.[35] At the same time, Papoulias was told by the head of the Bank of Greece George Provopoulos that local financial institutions were concerned about a bank run with the increased rate of withdrawal of euros, which were up to 700 million.[36] Papoulias stated that "there is, of course, no panic, but there is fear that could develop into panic" acknowledging that Greeks on 14 May had withdrawn 800 million euros from the country's banking system.[37]

With the victory of ND leader Antonis Samaras in the elections, Papoulias tasked him to form a government.[38] On 20 June he invested Samaras as the new Prime Minister.[39]

The murder of rapper and anti-fascist Pavlos Fyssas in September 2013 by a Golden Dawn neo-fascist sparked a wave of outrage in Greece and Papoulias stated that "it's my supreme duty as president of the republic to defend democracy and the Greek people from the storm that is approaching" and protect Greeks from neo-fascism.[40] In 2014, during an official visit by German President Joachim Gauck Papoulias demanded that talks be scheduled as soon as possible on Greek claims for war reparations for the brutal German occupation during World War II.[41]

His presidential term ended in March 2015 and he was replaced by Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who was elected Greece's new president in a parliamentary vote in February 2015.[42]

Personal life and death edit

Papoulias was married to Mary Panou and together, they had three daughters. Apart from his native Greek, he also spoke English, French, German, and Italian.[8]

He died on 26 December 2021 in Athens at the age of 92.[43][10] The Greek government announced three days of national mourning on December 27–29 with flags down to half-mast.[44][45] His state funeral took place on 29 December at the church of Agios Spyridon in Pagrati and was attended by the country's highest authorities.[46] The following day he was buried on the island of Lake Ioannina.[47]

Honours edit

Arms as knight of the Royal Order of the Seraphim (Sweden)

References edit

  1. ^ Welle (www.dw.com), Deutsche. "Opinion: A new era for Athens | DW | 6 July 2015". DW.COM. Retrieved 19 January 2021. Karolos Papoulias was president of Greece from 2005 to 2015. He also served two terms as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
  2. ^ Turner, B. (12 January 2017). The Statesman's Yearbook 2009: The Politics, Cultures and Economies of the World. Springer. p. 551. ISBN 978-1-349-74027-7.
  3. ^ a b c "Πέθανε ο πρώην Πρόεδρος της Δημοκρατίας Κάρολος Παπούλιας". CNN in Greek (in Greek). 26 December 2021.
  4. ^ Profile of Karolos Papoulias
  5. ^ Robert I. C. Fisher (2012). Fodor's Greece: With Great Cruises and the Best Island Getaways. Fodor's Travel Publications. p. 308. ISBN 978-0-307-92916-7.
  6. ^ Europa Publications (2003). The International Who's Who 2004. Psychology Press. p. 1284. ISBN 978-1-85743-217-6.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Κάρολος Παπούλιας: Από τα Ιωάννινα μέχρι την Προεδρία της Δημοκρατίας – Η αντίσταση, η πολιτική πορεία και ο αθλητισμός". Enikos (in Greek). 26 December 2021.
  8. ^ a b c d "President". Greek Government. Archived from the original on 21 February 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  9. ^ Α.Ε., tovima.gr — Δημοσιογραφικός Οργανισμός Λαμπράκη (28 October 2011). "tovima.gr - Ματαιώσεις και επεισόδια στις παρελάσεις σε όλη τη χώρα". TO BHMA (in Greek). Retrieved 8 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b c Chrepa, Eleni (26 December 2021). "Karolos Papoulias, Greek President in Austerity Era, Dies at 92". Bloomberg. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  11. ^ "Former Greek President Karolos Papoulias dies at 92". www.aa.com.tr. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  12. ^ a b c "KAROLOS PAPOULIAS – Presidency of the Hellenic Republic". Retrieved 26 December 2021.
  13. ^ Refugees, United Nations High Commissioner for. "Refworld | Chronology for Greeks in Albania". Refworld. Retrieved 26 December 2021.
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  15. ^ Galiatsatos, Panagis G. (13 December 2004). "Yπερίσχυσε μεταξύ 4 υποψηφίων". Ta Nea.
  16. ^ "Σε τηλεοπτικό του διάγγελμα ο Πρωθυπουργός, Κώστας Καραμανλής, πρότεινε για τη θέση του Προέδρου της Δημοκρατίας τον Κάρολο Παπούλια". BBC. 12 December 2004.
  17. ^ Zoulas, Stamos (9 February 2005). "Overwhelming consensus". Kathimerini.
  18. ^ Ayiomamitis, Paris (13 March 2005). "Greece's Sixth President Sworn In". Associated Press.
  19. ^ "Pitched Battles Continue in Athens as Shooting Victim is Buried". Deutsche Well. 9 December 2009.
  20. ^ "Greece urges return of sculptures". BBC. 21 June 2009.
  21. ^ Ζήτησε συναίνεση, κέρασε κρασί. To Vima (in Greek). Lambrakis Press Group. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 4 February 2010.
  22. ^ Nellas, Demetris (13 March 2005). "Former Greek President Karolos Papoulias dies at 92". Associated Press.
  23. ^ a b Dimokidis, Aris (18 February 2015). "Η άνοδος και η πτώση του Κάρολου Παπούλια". Lifo.
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  25. ^ Tsintsinis, Mihalis (28 December 2021). "Κάρολος Παπούλιας: Συνείδηση". Kathimerini (in Greek).
  26. ^ "Ακυρώθηκε η παρέλαση στη Θεσσαλονίκη – Αποχώρησε οργισμένος ο Κ. Παπούλιας" [Parade in Thessaloniki cancelled – Mr. Papoulias departed outraged]. skai.gr. 28 October 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
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  28. ^ "Greece names former banker as new prime minister". CNN. 10 November 2011.
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  30. ^ Hope, Kerin; Spiegel, Peter (16 February 2012). "Greek rhetoric turns into battle of wills". CNN.
  31. ^ "Greece crisis: Party chiefs in last-ditch talks". BBC News. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  32. ^ "Greece bailout crisis: President seeks unity government". BBC News. 12 May 2012. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  33. ^ "No agreement on ecumenical gov't reached, talks to continue Monday". Ekathimerini. 13 May 2012. Retrieved 14 May 2012.
  34. ^ Alderman, Liz; Donadio, Rachel (16 May 2012), "Greek President Is Expected to Name Caretaker Government Ahead of Vote", The New York Times, Athens, retrieved 17 May 2012
  35. ^ Richard Galpin (10 May 2012). "BBC News Greece to hold new election on 17 June". BBC News.
  36. ^ Weeks, Natalie (16 May 2012). "Greek President Told Banks Anxious as Deposits Pulled". Bloomberg.
  37. ^ Smith-Spark, Laura (17 May 2012). "Fear and confusion rule as Greece faces uncertain future". CNN.
  38. ^ Chris Morris (1 January 1970). "BBC News - Antonis Samaras begins urgent Greece coalition talks". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2012.
  39. ^ Donadio, Rachel; Alderman, Liz (20 June 2012). "Antonis Samaras Is Sworn in as Greek Prime Minister". The New York Times.
  40. ^ Smith, Helena (24 September 2013). "Greece launches inquiry into claims Golden Dawn trained by armed forces". The Guardian.
  41. ^ "Greek president presses Germany's Gauck on WWII". Times of Israel. 7 March 2014.
  42. ^ "Prokopis Pavlopoulos is elected next president of Greece".
  43. ^ Former Greek President Papoulias passes away
  44. ^ "Με τιμές αρχηγού κράτους η κηδεία του Κάρολου Παπούλια - Τριήμερο δημόσιο πένθος". 27 December 2021.
  45. ^ "Tributes for Ex-President Papoulias, Three Days Mourning Declared". 27 December 2021.
  46. ^ "Κάρολος Παπούλιας: "Ύστατο χαίρε" με τιμές αρχηγού κράτους". Kathimerini. 29 December 2021.
  47. ^ "Κάρολος Παπούλιας: Τελευταίο ταξίδι στο Νησί της λίμνης των Ιωαννίνων". CNN. 30 December 2021.
  49. ^ Postanowienie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 6 listopada 1995 r. o nadaniu orderów (M.P. z 1996 r. Nr 11, poz. 119).
  50. ^ "Mετάλλιο της Νίκης στον Πρόεδρο". BBC. 9 May 2005.
  51. ^ "Reply to a parliamentary question about the Decoration of Honour" (PDF) (in German). p. 1923. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
  52. ^ "Odluka o odlikovanju Njegove Ekscelencije dr. KarolosaPapouliasa predsjednika Helenske Republike Veleredom kralja Tomislava s lentom i Velikom Danicom" [Decision on the decoration of His Excellency Dr. Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic with the Grand Order of King Tomislav with ribbon and Velika Danica]. narodne-novine.nn.hr (in Croatian). Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  53. ^ "Modtagere af danske dekorationer". kongehuset.dk (in Danish). 12 December 2017. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  54. ^ "Papoulias S.E. Karolos Decorato di Gran Cordone". Presidency of Italy.
  55. ^ "Galamiddag på Kungliga slottet". Royal House of Sweden.
  56. ^ "Suomen Valkoisen Ruusun ritarikunnan suurristin ketjuineen ulkomaalaiset saajat - Ritarikunnat". 9 October 2020.
  57. ^ Postanowienie Prezydenta Rzeczypospolitej Polskiej z dnia 8 lipca 2013 r. o nadaniu orderu (M.P. z 2013 r. poz. 866).
  58. ^ A. Makris (18 June 2013). "Greek President Karolos Papoulias Meets With Serbian Official". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 27 December 2021.

External links edit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of Greece
Succeeded by