Greek President Sakellaropoulou’s First Remarks After Landslide Election



President-elect Katerina Sakellaropoulou at her office in Greece’s Council of State. Photo credit: AMNA

A delegation from the Greek Parliament, headed by Speaker of the House Constantinos Tasoulas with representatives of all parliamentary parties, paid an official visit to the office of Ekaterini (Katerina) Sakellaropoulou on Wednesday to disclose to her the results of the vote which had taken place earlier in the Greek Parliament.

Sakellaropoulou welcomed the parliamentary delegation to her office at the Council of State, Greece’s Supreme Administrative Court. In her first message as President-elect, Sakellaropoulou spoke from her heart, without referring to a written page.

”Dear President of the Parliament, I thank you very much for the message you brought and the kind words that you used,” were the first words of President-elect Sakellaropoulou.

”Please convey to the House my thanks and my assurance that I am fully aware of the burden I now bear. In cooperation with the Parliament, the Government and the Opposition we will work together for the utmost consensus,” she stated.

”Our country, a modern state of justice and an old member of the European Union, is a factor of stability, growth, culture and Democracy in the broader region. A necessary condition for the maintenance and amelioration of this status is to safeguard its territorial integrity and its sovereign rights,” the elected President said.

Sakellaropoulou mentioned some of the most crucial global challenges of our time, such as  financial crises, climate change, the mass movements of people with their consequent humanitarian crises, what she called the “retreat of justice,” and all types of inequalities and exclusions.

She also declared that Greece’s priorities now should be the consolidation of a sentiment of security, the growth of the economy and the tackling of social inequalities.

Global Reaction

The election of the first female President of the Hellenic Republic made headlines across the world soon after the announcement of the result of the vote in the Greek Parliament.

The first to congratulate President-elect Sakellaropoulou was the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, who is also the first female President in the history of the European Union.

”Congratulations to Aikaterini Sakellaropoulou – the first female President of the Hellenic Republic elected with a very large majority today in the Hellenic Parliament,” von der Leyen said in her message.

”Greece is moving ahead into a new era of equality,” von der Leyen added, followed by a hashtag stating ”Europe is a woman.”

Similar remarks were made by Charles Michel, the President of the European Council.

The top European official said that he wished to ”congratulate Katerina Sakellaropoulou on her election as new president of Greece. 

”A great signal to elect the Republic’s first female head of state,” Michel noted.

Earlier, the outgoing President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, telephoned Sakellaropoulou to congratulate her on her election.

Other leaders also expressed their well wishes to Greece’s newly-elected President.

Sakellaropoulou earlier managed to garner a total of 261 positive votes out of 294 MPs who voted, well above the 200-vote threshold that she needed to surpass in order to be elected.

Ekaterini Sakellaropoulou will be officially sworn in at the Greek Parliament on March 13, 2020, when she will assume power, becoming the eighth President of the third Hellenic Republic and the twelveth President since 1924.