Former Greek president Stephanopoulos dies

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By Catherine Hardy
Former Greek president Stephanopoulos dies

Constantine Stephanopoulous has died in hospital in Athens at the age of 90.

The former Greek president was taken into hospital with pneumonia on Thursday. Doctors say his condition deteriorated rapidly.

In a statement released on Saturday, Mr Stephanopoulos’ doctors said he was suffering from multiple organ failure and was not responding to treatment.

A statement released from the Henry Dunant hospital on Sunday said the former head of state died at 11.18pm local time from “complications of pneumonia.”

A popular president

Known widely as Costis, the veteran conservative politician was president from 1995 to 2005.

He served the two full terms allowed by the constitution.

The office of Greek president is largely ceremonial but Mr Stephanopoulous won wide popularity with his modesty and lack of bombast.

Although a conservative, he got along well with politicians from across the spectrum, particularly the moderate socialist Costas Simitis, who was prime minister from 1996 to 2004.

Who was Costis Stephanopoulos?

  • Son of a lawyer and politician
  • Born in the western city of Patras on August 15, 1926
  • Began career as a lawyer
  • First elected 1961
  • Deputy trade minister in civilian government after the fall of the military junta in 1974
  • Held various posts in New Democracy governments
  • Formed Renewal Party in 1985
  • Elected to parliament in 1985 and 1989
  • Party disbanded in 1994

What they are saying

“A moral man with a lofty vision,” – Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“A model of selfless, dignified and consistent service for the public good,” – President Prokopis Pavlopoulos.