Costas (short for Constantine) Karamanlis was born on 14 September 1956 in Athens. He graduated from Athens University's Law School in 1979 and then studied economics at the private Deree College in Agia Paraskevis. He holds a master's degree in political science and economics and a PhD in diplomatic history, both from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University in the United States, where he studied from 1980 to 1984. Karamanlis practised law from 1984 to 1989 and taught political science, diplomatic history and corporate law at Deree College between 1983 and 1985. His uncle and namesake, former Greek Prime Minister and President Constantine Karamanlis, founded New Democracy Party (ND) in 1974 after the was called back to Greece from Paris to lead a civilian government after the fall of the Junta. He was also the prime force behind Greece's entry to the European Economic Community.
Costa Karamanlis joined the youth branch of his uncle's party in 1974. He was elected president of the peace organisation KIPAEA and the Greek Center for the Promotion of European Unification "Europe '92", in 1986. In 1987 he entered law practise and became contributor to the Athens weekly "Oikonokikos Tachidromos". In 1989 he was elected to parliament from the first electoral district of Thessaloniki and that same year became Secretary of Parliament and Secretary of Political Strategy for ND. In 1994 he was elected to the party central committee and in 1997 rose to the post of party leader, the youngest major party leader in Greek history. In 1999 he became vice-president of the European People's Party (EPP) and n June 2002 was elected vice president of the International Democrat Union during the summit of the centre-right and Christian Democrat parties in Washington. In March of 2004 his New Democracy Party won the elections over George Papandreou's PASOK party and helped make the final preparations for Athens's successful Summer Olympics. Costa Karamanlis has a reputation as an astute politician. He is the youngest prime-minister in the history of Greece, speaks fluent English, German and French and is married to Natasa Pazaitis and has twin girls."Our goal is to serve the collective interest responsibly with diligence and effectiveness....we are servants of our fellow citizens, not their rulers....anyone who has not fully comprehended this is foreign to our mission." Costa Karamanlis
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