Incoming Greek president vows to seek ‘maximum possible consensus’

Incoming Greek president vows to seek ‘maximum possible consensus’

In her first comments after her election by Greek lawmakers on Wednesday, incoming President Katerina Sakellaropoulou vowed to seek the “maximum possible consensus” from the country’s political system with the aim of safeguarding “the smooth functioning of democracy.”

Sakellaropoulou, who will formally replace incumbent head of state Prokopis Pavlopoulos in March, said that protecting Greece’s territorial integrity and sovereign rights are key to upholding the country’s status as a factor of stability in the wider region.

The 63-year-old former top judge described security, economic growth, employment, the support of vulnerable groups and environmental protection as key priority areas.

She said that improving the country’s education and health systems, also through the introduction of new technologies, is key to achieving progress in these areas.

Sakellaropoulou spoke during a meeting with House Speaker Kostas Tasoulas who visited her at the Council of State to formally announce the outcome of the Parliament vote.

In a rare show of consensus, the conservative party nominee was backed by opposition parties, including main SYRIZA opposition which was unseated by New Democracy in July’s election. Sakellaropoulou was backed by 261 lawmakers in the 300-seat House.

She will be Greece’s first female head of state.

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