Karamanlis, a modern leader

Can you give us your view of (Greek Prime Minister) Costas Karamanlis? Yes, I can say a few things, but I do not want to interfere in Greece’s political life. First of all, I know the Karamanlis family very well, a family that is strongly associated with and devoted to the memory of (late Prime Minister and President) Constantine Karamanlis. Today, his nephew’s premiership is a wonderful symbol of dedication to the ideals of democracy that lead to victory. Your prime minister has been to see me many times and I have always seen him in private. In contrast to most politicians today who come to ask me how to rise to power, he said to me: «I know you worked with General Charles de Gaulle and I would like you to tell me how he operated. I am very interested in knowing how a great leader operates.» So I met someone who was interested in learning something more than ordinary political tactics. I also realized from what he said that he respected the primary rule of the democratic game, which is the alternation of power. He lost an election but was not discouraged, he continued to struggle and achieved a great deal the second time. So I believe there is, or there will emerge on the European political stage, a small group of modern leaders, aged about 40-45, on which the changing of the guard will be based. Costas Karamanlis belongs to that group.