Conservative to preside over leftist-governed Greece

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By Euronews
Conservative to preside over leftist-governed Greece

A conservative former minister head of state of a Greece governed by the radical left led by anti-austerity Alexis Tsipras. Prokopis Pavlopoulos, aged 64, is a high-profile career politician who musters the consensus the country needs, according to the prime minister.

Pavlopoulos is a moderate, on good terms with every level of Greek politics, with a grounding as a lawyer and a university professor who has also studied in France.

He started young in politics, secretary to President Michail Stasinopoulos when he was in his mid-twenties, during the Metapolítefsi democratic transition.

By the 1990s, he was advisor to President Konstantinos Karamanlis.

Then he was spokesman for the New Democracy Party, head of the parliamentary group from 2000-2004, and after that Interior Minister, in the government of Kostas Karamanlis, nephew of the other, to the end of that decade.

When a 15-year-old schoolboy Alexandros Grigoropoulos was shot and killed by a policeman in an Athens street in 2008, the minister was criticised for his failure to restore order. More than three weeks of protests erupted in more than 20 cities, with violence from both the government forces and demonstrators and extensive destruction of public property.

The Kalamata-born Prokopis Pavlopoulos moves into the presidential palace for a five-year term.

He and Mrs Vlassia Pavlopoulou-Peltsemi have two daughters and one son.