Vasilis Papageorgopoulos

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Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos with former Mayor of Athens Dora Bakoyianni

Vasilis Papageorgopoulos (Greek: Βασίλης Παπαγεωργόπουλος) is a Greek former athlete and former mayor of Thessaloniki.

Papageorgopoulos was born on June 27, 1947, in Thessaloniki. He attended the city’s 5th Gymnasium (Junior High School) and 1st Lyceum (Senior High School). He later studied medicine at the Aristotle University, graduating with a degree in dental surgery. His military duty was served as a reserve officer in the Sanitary Corps.

Sports Achievements

Vassilis Papageorgopoulos in an early 70s photo

As an athlete, with the «AETOS» Educational Sports Club in Thessaloniki, he ran in the 100 metres, setting the Greek record and tying the European one. He participated in the 1972 and the 1976 Olympiads, where he was the standard-bearer for the Greek team, and has won three medals in the European Athletics Championships.

Year Tournament Venue Result Extra
1971 European Championships Helsinki, Finland 3rd 100 metres
Mediterranean Games Izmir, Turkey 1st 100 metres
1972 European Indoor Championships Grenoble, France 3rd 50 metres
1975 Mediterranean Games Algiers, Algeria 2nd 100 metres
1976 European Indoor Championships Munich, West Germany 2nd 60 metres

Public Life

He entered public life in 1978 when he was elected to the Thessaloniki City Council. He worked as a dentist until 1981, when he was elected to the Greek Parliament as a representative of Thessaloniki.

From 1981 until 1998 he served as a member of the Hellenic Parliament, under the banner of New Democracy, resigning the post in 1998 after he was elected Mayor of Thessaloniki.

On October 18, 1998, Vassilis Papageorgopoulos was elected Mayor of Thessaloniki with 52% of vote. He was elected President of the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities in Thessaloniki county for the period 1999-2002.

On October 13, 2002 he was re-elected Mayor of Thessaloniki with a 54,2% vote count. He was also re-elected President of the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities in Thessaloniki county for the period 2003-2006.

He was reelected in 2006 and stepped down after four years.

Vassilis Papageorgopoulos was a member of the Parliamentary Cultural Affairs Committee, the Parliamentary Anti-Drugs Committee, and the Parliamentary Helleno-Scandinavian Friendship Committee. For his contribution to sports and the development of Thessaloniki he was awarded an honorary PhD of TEFAA (Sports Faculty of the University of Thessaloniki), of the University of Sheffield (UK) and the University of Kingston (UK).


Papageorgopoulos was accused of embezzling nearly €50 million of public funds. He stood trial along with 17 other officials. On February 27, 2013, he was sentenced to life imprisonment for embezzlement and money laundering of some €18 million. City officials Panagiotis Saxonis and Michalis Lemousias received lesser sentences.

Preceded by:
Konstantinos Kosmopoulos
Mayor of Thessaloniki
Succeeded by:
Yiannis Boutaris