Karolos Papoulias

Karolos Papoulias

Infobox President
name = Karolos Papoulias
Κάρολος Παπούλιας

caption =
order = President of Greece
primeminister = Kostas Karamanlis
term_start = 12 March 2005
term_end =
predecessor = Costis Stephanopoulos
successor =
order2 = Minister for Foreign Affairs
term_start2 = 26 July 1985
term_end2 = 02 July 1989
predecessor2 = Ioannis Charalambopoulos
successor2 = Tzannis Tzannetakis
term_start3 = 13 October 1993
term_end3 = 02 January 1996
predecessor3 = Michalis Papakonstantinou
successor3 = Theodoros Pangalos
birth_date = birth date and age|1929|06|04|df=y
birth_place =
death_date =
death_place =
spouse = Maria Panou "May" Papoulia
residence = Presidential Palace (official)
party = Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Dr. Karolos Papoulias ( _el. Κάρολος Παπούλιας, IPA2|ˈkaro̞ˌlo̞s paˈpuʎas) (born June 4, 1929) is the current President of the Hellenic Republic (Greece). He is a former government minister and member of parliament. His first name is the Greek equivalent of Carl/Charles.

Private life and family

Born in the city of Ioannina, Papoulias is the son of Major General Gregorios Papoulias. He studied law at the University of Athens and the University of Munich, has a doctorate in private international law from the University of Cologne, and is an associate of the Munich Institute for Southeast Europe. Apart from his native Greek, he also speaks French, German and Italian. A former pole-vault and volley ball champion, Papoulias has been chairman of the National Sports Association since 1985. He is also a founding member and until recently president of the Association for the Greek Linguistic Heritage.

Karolos Papoulias is married to Maria Panou and has three daughters.

Political career

Resistance against the Nazis and the Junta

Papoulias was active in the resistance against the occupation forces during World War II.

The 1967 military coup found him in West Germany. He was among the founders of the Socialist Democratic Union which organized and mobilized Greeks working and studying in Western Europe against the colonel's junta. He was also a founding member of the first trade union resistance organization and broadcast regularly from Deutsche Welle radio.

Role in PASOK, parliamentary and government offices

Papulias was a founding member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and a close associate of its leader Andreas Papandreou. Since December 1974 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 Re1ations 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.

He was first elected to Parliament in 1977 for Ioannina, and held his seat continuously through the subsequent legislative elections until his 2004 election as President of the Republic. He held several high offices during the PASOK cabinets:

* Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, from October 21, 1981 to February 8, 1984.
* Alternate Minister for Foreign Affairs, from February 8, 1984 to 5 June, 1985 and again from 5 June, 1985 to July 26, 1985.
* Minister for Foreign Affairs, from July 26, 1985 to July 2, 1989.
* Alternate Minister for National Defence, from November 23, 1989 to February 13, 1990 in the ecumenical government of Xenophon Zolotas .
* Minister for Foreign Affairs, from October 13, 1993 to January 22, 1996.

In the Costas Simitis administration he was for a number of years Chairman of the Standing Committee on Defence and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament.

Election to the Presidency

On December 12, 2004, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, leader of the governing New Democracy party, and George Papandreou, leader of the PASOK opposition, nominated Papoulias as for the position of President, who is chosen by the Parliament. On February 8, 2005, he was elected by an overwhelming parliamentary majority of 279 (out of 300) votes to serve a five-year term. He was sworn in as the seventh President of the Third Hellenic Republic on March 12, 2005, succeeding Konstantinos Stephanopoulos.

Papoulias as Foreign Minister

During his long tenure in the Foreign Ministry, he identified himself with a foreign policy that was clearsighted and comprehensive. In the 1980s he played a key role in trying to bring about a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This culminated in the successful mediation for the safe departure of the trapped Palestinian resistance fighters and Yassir Arafat himself from Lebanon on board Greek vessels in 1983.

He paid particular attention to the creation of sound relations with the Arab world and achieved, among other things, the normalisation of relations between Greece and Egypt and the establishment of the tripartite cooperation of Iran, Armenia and Greece. He held talks with a total of 12 Turkish Foreign Ministers and was firmly committed to the continuous and difficult effort to normalize Greco-Turkish relations. This culminated in the signing of the Papoulias-Yılmaz memorandum in 1988.

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

In the period 1993-1996 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.

As president-in-office of the European Union and member of the contact group for the former Yugoslavia, together with Warren Christopher, Klaus Kinkel, Alain Juppé, Andrei Kozyrev and Hans van den Broek, he spared no effort to bring about a resolution of the crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He signed the Interim Agreement with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), aiming at the establishment of better relations between the two countries. He has always kept channels of communication open with all Balkan leaders and has repeatedly mediated on behalf of the EU.

He was very interested in relations between Greece and the Balkan states and it was upon his initiative that the first meeting of the Foreign Ministers 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.

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 the two countries.

Karolos Papoulias has always been very 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.With his visit to Washington in 1985 and the return visit of Secretary of State George Shultz, he made an important contribution to the redefining and improvement of Greek-American relations which had gone through a delicate phase during the previous years.

External links

* [http://www.presidency.gr/ Presidency of Greece]

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