President of Greece

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President of the Hellenic Republic
Πρόεδρος της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας
Standard of the President of Greece.svg
Standard of the President
Karolos Papoulias.jpg
Karolos Papoulias

since 12 March 2005
Style Excellency
Residence Presidential Mansion, Athens
Appointer Hellenic Parliament
Term length Five years
renewable once
Inaugural holder Michail Stasinopoulos
18 December 1974
Formation Constitution of Greece
Salary 138,732 [1]
Coat of arms of Greece.svg
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The President of the Hellenic Republic (Greek: Πρόεδρος της Ελληνικής Δημοκρατίας), colloquially referred to in English as the President of Greece, is the head of state of Greece. The President is elected by the Hellenic Parliament, and his role is mostly ceremonial. The office was formally established by the Constitution of Greece in 1975, but has antecedents in the Second Hellenic Republic of 1924–35 and the Republic declared by the Greek military junta in 1973–74. The incumbent is Karolos Papoulias.


The president is the nominal commander-in-chief of the Greek Armed Forces and occupies the first place in the country's order of precedence. Although the Greek Constitution of 1974 vested him with considerable powers on paper, in practice the president took a largely ceremonial role; the Prime Minister of Greece is the active chief executive of the Greek government and the country's leading political figure. The president's role was formally brought into line with actual practice by the 1986 constitutional amendment, which reduced his official powers.

Election of the President[edit]

The President of the Republic is elected for five years by the Parliament (not through direct popular vote). Article 32 of the Greek Constitution provides that a President should be elected by roll call by a special session of Parliament and at least a month before the incumbent President is due to leave office in either one or two stages. The tenure of the President may be extended in the event of War or if the voting for a new President is not completed in time.

The first stage includes three separate ballots:

  • First Ballot - 200 Votes

In the first ballot the votes of a two-thirds majority of the total number of Members of Parliament is required.

  • Second Ballot - 200 Votes

If the said majority is not attained, the ballot is repeated after five days, the same majority being required.

  • Third Ballot - 180 Votes

If once again the required majority is not attained, voting is repeated after five days, the person receiving the votes of a three-fifths majority of the total number of Members of Parliament shall be elected President of the Republic. If the third ballot also fails to produce the required majority, Parliament shall be dissolved within ten days of the vote and elections for a new Parliament shall be called.

The second stage of the procedure is conducted by the new Parliament as soon as it has constituted itself as a body and includes another three successive ballots:

  • First Ballot - 180 Votes

In the first ballot the votes of a three-fifths majority of the total number of Members of Parliament is required.

  • Second Ballot - 151 Votes

Should this majority not be attained, voting is repeated within five days and the person receiving an absolute majority of the votes of the total number of Members of Parliament shall be elected President of the Republic.

  • Third Ballot

If the second ballot fails to produce the required majority, then within five days the third and final vote takes place between the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes. The person who receives a relative majority shall be elected President of the Republic.

Oath of Office[edit]

Before taking office, the President must recite an oath before Parliament:

"I swear (in the name of the Holy, Consubstantial and Indivisible Trinity) to safeguard the Constitution and the laws, to ensure their faithful observance, to defend the national independence and territorial integrity of the Country, to protect the rights and liberties of the Greeks and to serve the general interest and the progress of the Greek People."

Official residence[edit]

The Presidential Mansion in Athens

The official residence of the President is the Presidential Mansion, formerly the Royal Palace, in central Athens.


For more details on this topic, see History of the Hellenic Republic.

The current Third Hellenic Republic (Greek: Γʹ Ελληνική Δημοκρατία) was declared in 1974 during the period of metapolitefsi, after the end of the Regime of the Colonels which had controlled Greece since the coup d'état of 21 April 1967.

On 1 June 1973 the then leader of the military junta and regent for the exiled King Constantine II, Georgios Papadopoulos, abolished the Greek monarchy and proclaimed himself President of the Republic. A staged referendum on 29 July 1973 confirmed the regime change, and passed a new Constitution which established a presidential republic. This attempt at controlled democratization was ended by Brigadier Dimitrios Ioannides' overthrow of Papadopoulos in November 1973. The Republic was maintained, but was nothing more than a façade for the military regime.

After the fall of the junta and the return to civilian rule in August 1974 however, the legal and constitutional acts of the military regime were deemed invalid, and a new referendum was held on 8 December 1974, which finally abolished the monarchy. In the interim, the junta-appointed President, General Phaedon Gizikis, remained in office. After the plebiscite, he was succeeded by the first elected President, Michail Stasinopoulos.

A new Constitution, promulgated on 11 June 1975, declared Greece a presidential parliamentary democracy (or republic – the Greek δημοκρατία can be translated both ways). This constitution, revised in 1985 and 2001, is still in force today.

List of presidents of the Third Republic[edit]

  Denotes acting President
President Term of office Political party
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
1 No image.png Michail Stasinopoulos
Μιχαήλ Στασινόπουλος
18 December 1974 19 June 1975 0 years, 183 days New Democracy
2 Konstantinos Tsatsos.JPG Konstantinos Tsatsos
Κωνσταντίνος Τσάτσος
20 June 1975 15 May 1980 4 years, 330 days New Democracy
3 Karamanlis-konstantinos2.jpg Konstantinos Karamanlis
Κωνσταντίνος Γ. Καραμανλής
15 May 1980 10 March 1985
4 years, 299 days New Democracy
No image.png Ioannis Alevras
Ιωάννης Αλευράς
10 March 1985 30 March 1985 0 years, 20 days Panhellenic Socialist Movement
4 Christos Sartzetakis (1989) cropped.jpg Christos Sartzetakis
Χρήστος Σαρτζετάκης (1929– )
30 March 1985 4 May 1990 5 years, 35 days Independent
5 Karamanlis-konstantinos2.jpg Konstantinos Karamanlis
Κωνσταντίνος Γ. Καραμανλής
5 May 1990 10 March 1995 4 years, 310 days New Democracy
6 Kostis stephanopoulos.jpg Konstantinos Stephanopoulos
Κωνσταντίνος Στεφανόπουλος
(1926– )
10 March 1995 12 March 2005 10 years, 2 days Independent
7 Karolos Papoulias.jpg Karolos Papoulias
Κάρολος Παπούλιας
(1929– )
12 March 2005 Incumbent 9 years, 260 days Panhellenic Socialist Movement

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Κούρεμα 50% στο μισθό του Προέδρου της Δημοκρατίας (in Greek). 14 September 2012.