Papoulias was born in the city of Ioannina on June 4, 1929. He has studied law in the University of Athens and the University of Munich, has a doctorate in private international law for the University of Cologne, and he is an associate of the Munich Institute for Southeast Europe. Apart from his native Greek language, he also speaks German, Italian and French.
He was active in the resistance against the occupation forces during the World War II, and took part in the antidictatorial struggle against the military regime of George Papadopoulos within his organization, the Socialist Democratic Union from his exile outside Greece. He has also been a regular contributor to the Deutsche Welle programme in Greek during the same period.
A founding member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) and close associate to Andreas Papandreou, Papoulias has been elected MP of Ioannina in the legislative elections of 1977, 1981, 1985, 1989 (June and November), 1990, 1993, 1996 and 2000. He has served in many important government offices, including:
- 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.
- Minister for Foreign Affairs, from October 13, 1993 to January 22, 1996.
Former track and field and volley ball champion, and chairman of the National Sports Association since 10 January, 1985. Founding member of PASOK in 1974. Member of the party’s Central Committee since 1974. Elected onto the PASOK Executive Bureau on 11 October, 1995 and the Political Secretariat on 12 October, 1995. Published several papers in German.
Karolos Papoulias is married to Maria Panou and has three daughters.
On December 12, 2004 Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, leader of the New Democracy governing party, and George Papandreou, leader of the PASOK major opposition party, named him as a candidate for the presidential election. On February 8, 2005 he was elected by an overwhelming parliamentary majority of 279 votes to serve a five-year term. On March 12, 2005 he was sworn in President of the Hellenic Republic.
Did you know?
Papoulias was a volleyball player in his youth and even played for the National Volleyball Team of Greece,
|President of Greece
2005 - 2015
- Presidency of the Hellenic Republic (in Greek, English and French)