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Thursday, April 23, 1998 Published at 11:36 GMT 12:36 UK

World: Europe

Greece's Karamanlis dies
image: [ Former Greek President Konstantine Karamanlis casts his ballot in Athens in 1974 ]
Former Greek President Konstantine Karamanlis casts his ballot in Athens in 1974

The Greek statesman, Konstantine Karamanlis, has died in Athens at the age of 91.

He had been in hospital for the past two weeks with respiratory and heart problems.

Mr Karamanlis, served as prime minister and president in one of the longest-serving political careers this century - spanning six decades.

He fought the Nazi occupation of Greece and helped his country recover from the civil war that followed.

After returning from self-imposed exile in France in 1974, he took charge of the restoration of democracy in Greece, following the collapse of the seven-year military regime.

Mr Karamanlis became a reforming leader and a strong supporter of closer ties with NATO.

He took Greece into the European Community in 1981.

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