Greece's Farewell to Former President of the Republic Costis Stephanopoulos



By Aggelos Skordas

 The funeral service for the former President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos was held on Tuesday at 2.00 pm at Saint Dimitrios Church of Palaio Psychiko in Athens.

The ceremony was held with head of state honours with the presence of prominent political figures, including the current President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, main opposition New Democarcay leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Greek Communist Party secretary general Dimitris Koutsoumbas, To Potami leader Stavros Theodorakis, Democratic Coalition leader Fofi Gennimata, former Prime Ministers Loukas Papadimos, Panagiotis Pikramenos and Antonis Samaras, numerous members of the cabinet, former and current ministers, MPs, relatives, friends and ordinary citizens. During the ceremony 21 honorary cannon shots were released from the gun emplacement on Lycabettus Hill, while the Ministry of Interior ordered all flags in public buildings and facilities to be lowered in his memory.

Costis Stephanopoulos' eulogy was delivered by President Pavlopoulos, who, among others, underlined that his death has created an irreplaceable empty space in Greek society and politics. ''The first trait of Costis Stephanopoulos was sincere unselfishness. He has always been acting not to derive personal benefits, but  in the state's interest.


The second trait of Costis Stephanopoulos was the unwavering commitment to the public interest, as 'res publica' dictates. Namely, the commitment to serve the Greek state's goals, based on our nation's history but also in view of the challenges and the corresponding national stakes. The third trait of Costis Stephanopoulos was patriotism and -of course- not that trivialized 'patriotism' in the service of populism, but rather patriotism in its most genuine expression, dedicated to the defence of our national interests.

Finally, the fourth trait of Costis Stephanopoulos was the dialectical synthesis of opposites, in order to guide our people and our nation through the way of concord and unity, especially in times we were obliged to make a learning out of the ills we inherited from sterile disputes and division. Under those circumstances it appears that the best way to honour the memory of former President of the Hellenic Republic Costis Stephanopoulos, as he deserves, is to be inspired by his example and to continue his work. May his memory be eternal'', Pavlopoulos highlighted.

It should be noted that the former President's burial will take place today in his hometown of Patras, in the First Cemetery and the services will be at public expense.

Costis Stephanopoulos has passed away on Sunday at the age of 90 at the ''Errikos Dunant'' hospital in Athens after being admitted for a serious respiratory infection. Stephanopoulos served as Greek President between 1995 and 2005.

*Photography by Aggelos Skordas (Copyright)

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.