Prokopios Pavlopoulos, commonly shortened to Prokopis, became president of Greece in 2015. A lawyer and university professor, Pavlopoulos had served as the country's Minister of the Interior from 2004 to 2009. He was preceded in office by Karolos Papoulias.
In Greece, which has a parliamentary style of government, the real power is held by the Prime Minister who is the "face" of Greek politics. The President is the head of state, but his role is mainly symbolic.
Greece's Parliamentary System
Greece operates as a presidential parliamentary republic, according to its Constitution. The Prime Minister is the head of the government. Legislative powers belong to the Hellenic Parliament. Much like the United States, Greece has a judiciary branch which is separate from its legislative and executive branches.
Greece's parliament elects the president, who serve five-year terms. Greek law limits presidents to two terms. Presidents can grant pardons and declare war, but a parliamentary majority is needed to ratify these actions, and most other actions Greece's president performs. The formal title of Greece's president is President of the Hellenic Republic.
Greece's prime minister, who is the head of the party with the most seats in Parliament, serves as the government's chief executive.
Greece's parliament is its legislative branch, with 300 members elected by votes of proportional representation by constituents.
A party must have a nationwide vote tally of at least 3 percent in order to elect members of Parliament. Greece's system is a bit different and more complex than other parliamentary democracies such as the United Kingdom
Prime Minister of Greece
In September 2015, Alexis Tsipras was sworn in as Prime Minister of Greece.
Tsipras had served as prime minister from January 2015 to August 2015 but resigned when his Syriza party lost its majority in Greece's Parliament.
Tsipras called for a snap election, which was held the following month. He regained the majority and was elected Prime Minister after his party formed a coalition government with the Independent Greeks party.
Speaker of Greece's Hellenic Parliament
After the Prime Minister, the Speaker of Parliament (formally called the President of Parliament) is the person with most authority in Greece's government. The Speaker steps in to serve as acting president if the president is incapacitated or out of the country on official government business.
If a president dies while in office, the Speaker carries out the duties of that office until a new president is elected by Parliament.
The current Speaker of Greece's Parliament is Nikos Voutsis, who formerly served as Greece's Minister of the Interior and Administrative Reconstruction.