Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has nominated President of the Council of State, Judge Katerina Sakellaropoulou for the next President of the Hellenic Republic.
Mitsotakis made the announcement of the likely first female President of Greece during a televised address on the state-run broadcaster ERT on Wednesday evening.
“The term citizen is of male gender. Democracy, Greece and Progress, however, are of female nouns. And they call on us to make the great leap”, PM Mitsotakis highlighted during his speech.
“I think it is time for our homeland to have a worthy Greek woman as head of the state: So, I propose for President of Hellenic Republic, the President of the Council of State, Ms. Katerina Sakellaropoulou," he added.
After Mitsotakis made the public announcement, Sakellaropoulou issued a statement noting that she believes this proposal by the Greek PM honours justice and Modern Greek women.
“I accept the proposal with a sense of responsibility and, in the event I am elected, I will devote all my energy to serving this high duty, as set out in the Constitution,” she added.
Effective immediately, the senior judge stated that she will abstain from her duties as President of the Council of State.
Main opposition leader, Alexis Tsipras criticised Mitsotakis' proposal of Sakellaropoulou as the female candidate for Greece's Presidency, stating that it is a "diversion from the government's fiasco on the Libyan and refugee crises."
Earlier in the day, Mitsotakis made two phone calls, one to the Judge to inform her of his choice and the other to standing President, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, expressing his gratitude for his services.
Biography of Katerina Sakellaropoulou
Skellaropoulou was born in Thessaloniki in 1956, graduated from the Faculty of Law from the University of Athens in 1978 and completed postgraduate studies in constitutional and administrative law at the Paris-Sorbonne II University. In 1982 she was appointed as Assistant Judge at the Supreme Administrative Court (Council of State).
She became Associate Councillor in 1988 and served at the Third Chamber of the Court, before being promoted to Councilor of State in 2000 and served at the Fifth Chamber. In October 2015 she was appointed Vice-President and assigned to the Third Chamber, as Deputy President before promoted to President of the Court three years later in October 2018.
Skellaropoulou was elected president of the Association of the Council of State Judges (1993-1995 and 2000-2001), Secretary General (1985-1986) and Vice President (2006-2008). She also served as a member of the Central Legislative Bill Drafting Commission (1993-1995) and taught Environmental Law at the National School of Judges (2005-2014).
From 2013-2015, she was president of the Disciplinary Board of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since March 2015, the Judge has also been the President of the Hellenic Society for Environmental Law and actively worked on major cases such as the diversion of the Acheloos River in Thessaly and the preservation of the refugee buildings on Alexandras Avenue in Athens.
Skellaropoulou is fluent in English and French.