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  • Constantinos Tsatsos

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    An eminent politician, philosopher, professor, academic and President of the Hellenic Republic , Konstantinos Tsatsos studied law in Athens and was a member of the Greek delegation which in 1920 signed the Treaty of Sevres. Following the Asia Minor Campaign he continued his studies in Heidelberg. He returned to Greece to complete his studies and married Ioanna Seferiadi. In 1932 he was appointed professor at the Law School of the University of Athens. A supporter of liberal ideas, he was fired by the Metaxas dictatorship, exiled and, despite his pleas, was not permitted to take part in the Greek-Italian war. He returned to the University only to be dismissed, when on 27 October 1941, on the first anniversary of the Italian invasion, he focussed his teaching on the Greek-Italian war. In 1944 he escaped to the Middle East, where he served as an adviser to the Greek government -in-exile.

    After liberation he resumed his academic duties and in 1945 became Minister for Welfare and Home Affairs. He resigned from the University and stood with the Liberal Party in the 1946 election. Between 1949 and 1951 he served successively as Minister for Education and Deputy Minister for Coordination. In 1956 he joined the newly-founded National Radical Union (ERE) of Konstantinos Karamanlis, becoming one of his closest colleagues until the end of his life. He served as Minister for the Prime Minister's Office and Minister for Social Welfare. In 1961, he was elected to the Academy of Athens.

    Following the resignation of Karamanlis in 1963 he remained a leading member of ERE and in 1967 became Minister for Justice in the government of Panagiotis Kanellopoulos. During the military dictatorship he devoted himself to his writing. In 1974 he served as Minister for Culture in the government of national unity. The following year, as a Member of Parliament for New Democracy, he chaired the committee which drafted the 1975 Constitution. In June of the same year he was elected President of the Republic. His service in the highest office contributed to the consolidation of new institutions and of democracy. He was succeeded in May 1980 by Konstantinos Karamanlis.

    Konstantinos Tsatsos published a number of academic studies and works of literature which confirm his position as one of the most important Greek intellectuals of the twentieth century.

 
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