Former Greek President Karolos Papoulias dies

Athens, Dec 26 (AP) Former Greek President Karolos Papoulias has died at the age of 92. This information was given in the report of the country’s official news agency ANA.

Papoulias is survived by his wife Maria and three adult daughters.

Papoulias, a longtime socialist parliamentarian and minister, was close to Andreas Papandreou, the founder of the Socialist Pasok Party, and an opponent of Papandreou’s successor and liberal modernist leader Costas Simitis.

Papoulias was first elected president in 2005 and was re-elected in 2010.

Papoulias had little authority to make policy decisions, but he was not in favor of overthrowing the successive governments he had sworn into office. These governments include the conservative, socialist, conservative-socialist coalition and the leftist Syriza-led government at the end of his term. His 10-year tenure was mostly controversy-free.

Karolos Papoulias was born on June 4, 1929, in a village near the town of Ioannina in north-western Greece. He was the son of an army officer who retired as a Major-General.

Papoulias was known to have close ties with various Arab leaders, including Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) chief Yasser Arafat and Libyan leader Muammar Qazzafi.

AP Suresh Netrapal