ATHENS – The passing of Greece’s former president Karolos Papoulias has seen accolades for his life and service coming from across the spectrum and even internationally, with a three-day mouring period and state funeral.
“Greeks bow their head in respect to the responsible President, the visionary minister, the noble opponent, and dedicated patriot. To the approachable and mild-mannered politician, as well as the sensitive and educated person. They hold up the decades of his life as an exemplary journey of a true public servant. They are inspired by his message of unity and dignity that he will eternally stand for,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in a statement.
Major opposition SYRIZA leader and former premier Alexis Tsipras said of the Socialist former symbolic leader that, “Papoulias honoured the institution of the Presidency with his high moral standard, humanism, his dedication to dialogue and the institutions, and belief in unity through humility. We will commemorate him respectfully and with deep emotion as a politician and a President who brought together what is true with is patriotic.”
Papoulias’ successor Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that, “He served Greek public life in many ways, especially as President of the Republic, with a high feeling of patriotism, selfless dedication, and impeccable morals.”
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that, “Karolos Papoulias, who I was honored to call a friend, conducted himself in Greek politics with dignity and a sense of solidarity.”
Nikos Androulakis, the newly-elected leader of the center-left Movement for Change (KINAL) that is made up of veterans of the former PASOK Socialists of which Papoulias was a key member, said that, “He remained to the end a visionary of peace and humanism, a tireless defender of Democracy. We will remember him with great respect.”
The Embassy of Israel in Athens released a statement that said, “His life represents Greek modern history and is intertwined with the Greek nation’s struggle for freedom and democracy.”
It added: “We remember his visit to Jerusalem, the first-ever visit of a Greek Foreign Minister to Israel and President Papoulias hosting the first visit of an Israeli President to Greece.”