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.
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.
|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|
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.
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.
|Mayor of Thessaloniki