Statements by Leaders

“Your present government and its chief officer, your distinguished Prime Minister, have demonstrated such achievements as to render them worthy successors of your illustrious forefathers.”

- Dwight Eisenhower, President of the United States of America

“His personality greatly impressed me. He is a man of politics who has faced many problems, which he sees and sees through with precision and clarity.”

- Konrad Adenauer, Chancellor of the German Federal Republic

“Konstantinos Karamanlis dedicated his life to the service of the people and of his country, and to the defence of the rightful issues of peoples who struggle for their liberty and national independence, and he holds today a special place in the world, at the level of the region and the broader international level.”

- Yasser Arafat, Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)

“You dedicated your life to the service of your country and you served it in a variety of circumstances. You endured moments of profound sorrow when the Greek people found itself under a dictatorship, but your destiny called you forth, again by your hand to guide the nation to democracy and reconciliation.”

- Juan Carlos, King of Spain

“In this country, whose political life resembles the lacework of its coastline and is in as sharp relief as the outline of its mountains, Konstantinos Karamanlis is able to govern.”

- Charles De Gaulle, President of French Republic

“When I became Prime Minister in 1962, we inaugurated a dialogue with all the Balkan countries which was successfully conducted…  We reshaped the situation in the Balkan Peninsula, on the basis of equilibrium of the interests of each side and – with the exception of Albania – we restored amicable relations with the other countries. It was however Karamanlis who declared explicitly that Bulgaria was no enemy, and was instead a good neighbour with whom we had to maintain good relations. This was an historic occasion, especially in view of the state of affairs at the time.”

- Todor Zhivkov, Chairman of the Governing Council of Bulgaria

“It is not Greece that entered the Common Market, it is Karamanlis. He is the personification of two virtues: dignity and simplicity.”

- Valéry Giscard D’ Estaing, President of French Republic

“He became prime minister at a critical moment in his country’s history, and under his wise and steady leadership democracy was re-established and peace was preserved despite the considerable provocations threatening them. He rendered exceptional services to his homeland and to Europe.”

- James Callaghan, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“He is one of Europe’s eminent political figures. To tell the truth, I should say I consider him the most eminent of all.”

- John Kennedy, President of the United States of America

“In the last fifty years, Konstantinos Karamanlis has shaped his country’s political life in an exemplary manner. As minister and prime minister he resolutely worked at the structuring of a stable democratic regime in Greece. The restoration of democracy after the end of the military dictatorship and the country’s incorporation in the European Union will ever remain linked to his name. In both his terms of office as President of the Republic, Konstantinos Karamanlis remained faithful to his unequivocal political dogma. He was a supreme representative of your country.”

- Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of West Germany

“You are the father of institutions which, despite adversities and possibilities, were able to be integrally preserved in an atmosphere and an environment of stability and at this moment I have to admit that there does not exist in Europe another such example of rare quilibrium.”

- François Mitterand, President of French Republic

“I address myself to you as the worthy representative of a great people which, after a difficult and dark period, in its firm faith in liberty was able to regain its important position among the democratic nations, in the framework of the civilization to which Greece contributed so much… Allow me, Mr. Prime Minister, to express my admiration of yourself and of all those who battled to restore Greece to its great traditions.”

- Aldo Moro, Prime Minister of Italy

“You, Mr. President, played an outstanding role of significance in preserving the torch of liberty for half a century. Many were supporters of democracy, but only a few gallants stood up to be counted when they were called upon to neutralize despotism and restore the democratic values to government and society. You, Mr. President, are one of those few.”

- George Bush, President of the United States of America

“The British people welcomed and with profound admiration followed the personal achievement of Mr. Karamanlis and his government in restoring democracy to Greece. If there were a Nobel Prize for Democracy, he who should receive it is Konstantinos Karamanlis.”

- Harold Wilson, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

“In your person your country found an inspired statesman who was able to bring about the conditions for restoring Greece to the road of democracy. In my travels about the world I met numerous politicians. To my mind Karamanlis holds a special place with his strong perspicacity and great genius.”

- Sandro Pertini, President of Italian Republic

“In our country we harbour particular esteem for Mr. Karamanlis, whom we consider the saviour of Greece and the builder of Democracy after all you suffered during the dictatorship. The Egyptian people admire the judiciousness and high level of the policy he follows.”

- Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt

“The enormous work that was achieved by this great man, who was linked to France by special bonds of sentiment, who was head of government and then at the head of the Greek state, will remain alive in the conscience of both our peoples.”

- Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister of France

“Konstantinos Karamanlis is the Dean of European politicians.”

- Pierre Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“In the execution of his important responsibilities, this political leader sought to serve his country in a magnanimous spirit and to contribute to its positive course on the road of democracy.”

- Pope John – Paul II

“Karamanlis was the only person I knew in these years who was trustworthy and on whose word you could rely… Today your name expresses the return of Greece into the circle of European democratic nations.”

- Helmut Schmidt, Chancellor of West Germany