Former conservative Greek PM Mitsotakis dies at 98 | News | DW | 29.05.2017
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Former conservative Greek PM Mitsotakis dies at 98

Former Greek Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis has died at the age of 98, his family confirmed. The conservative politician, premier from 1990 to 1993, was known for introducing early free-market reforms in Greece.

Konstantinos Mitsotakis (picture-alliance/dpa/Muhlhauser)

This image was taken in 1989, a year before Mitsotakis became prime minister

"Today at 1 a.m., Constantine Mitsotakis departed life, surrounded by those whom he loved and who loved him," the former Greek prime minister's family said in a statement on Monday.

Mitsotakis had quit politics in 2004, stepping down as Greece's longest-serving lawmaker.

The former head of the conservative New Democracy party had become Greece's prime minister in 1990 and remained on the post until 1993. Mitsotakis had served without interruption as a member of parliament since 1946, barring a 10-year absence from the legislature during and after Greece's 1967-1974 military rule.

As prime minister, Mitsotakis introduced financial reforms to loosen state control of the economy, which made him unpopular with the country's socialist groups. He was also credited with improving ties with Turkey.

Born in 1918, Mitsotakis fought against the Nazi occupation of his native island of Crete during World War II. He was briefly arrested in 1967 but managed to flee to Paris, where he remained in exile until the end of military rule in Greece in 1974.

Mitsotakis' role in the downfall of George Papandreou's government in 1965 was considered by his opponents a blot on his political career. The instability following Papandreou's ouster ultimately led to the military takeover.

Two of his children are members of the country's parliament. His son Kyriakos was made the New Democracy party leader in 2016, while his daughter Dora has served as mayor of Athens and Greece's foreign minister.

shs/msh (AFP, Reuters, AP)