When Prokopis Pavlopoulos was elected the 7th President of the Hellenic Republic in March of 2015 many people questioned that choice.
On the one hand they were wondering because he was chosen by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras when he was still in his “rebel” days.
On the other hand they wondered about it because Palvopoulos was shadowed by the killing of Alexis Grigoropoulos (the 15-year old boy who was shot by a police officer) during his term as minister when the anarchists were setting Athens on fire in the seeming absence of the state.
Nevertheless, an assessment of his term in office, on the occasion of a review of the past year, would show that the selection of Prokopis Pavlopoulos was quite positive.
The Constitution, as is commonly known, after the changes brought about by the late Andreas Papandreou does not vest any particular high level duties upon the President of the Republic. Nearly all of the powers of the state are concentrated in the office of the prime minister.
Thus, despite the fact that the recent presidents of the Republic did nothing blameworthy, they did little to fight the impression that they were mere figureheads.
This, combined with the financial crisis and the parade of governments that came to and left power, constituted a source of concern.
At the end of the day, in other words, should an emergency occur in the country and there is a governmental crisis, who do you call?
The selection of Prokopis Pavlopoulos was initially thought of as more of the same old same old. A safe choice, who would go down the beaten path.
Despite all that, President Pavlopoulos is not the run-of-the-mill President many had expected.
In the 10 months since he took office he has proven to be a conscientious, energetic, ever mobile President who is struggling, within the framework of the Constitution, to honor his office and to help the country and its people.
As a consequence, he has raised the bar regarding the prestige of the President of the Republic, which of course is the biggest weapon in his arsenal.
He also stands by the omogeneia something that I had the opportunity to ascertain first hand last October when I visited him.
And his interest is substantial, concentrating on issues involving the preservation of our identity, like our language and religion, as well as on the solidarity of the Greeks abroad with a Greece that is going through harsh times.
Thus, one can rest assured that in the person of the President of the Hellenic Republic, the Greeks abroad have a true friend and ally.