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22ndannualcapital

Papoulias slip alarms reporters

A mix-up out of the blue caused a small raucous at the traditional cutting of the new year's cake by Hellenic Repuiblic president, Karolos Papoulias.

 

A mix-up out of nowhere came about at the traditional cutting of the new year's cake by Hellenic Repuiblic president, Karolos Papoulias, when the president in a slip of the tongue stated that this would be his last year.

Upon hearing the president say “this year will be my last and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your collaboration,” the jaws of officials and journalists present dropped.

Mr Papoulias, however, still has quite some time in office, so the statement caused concern, and in some cases, even panic.

The president's diplomatic aide intervened to alert Mr Papoulias, and the president jokingly questioned reporters “Are you going to always be so suspicious? Will you cut it out?”

The president was then asked if he was leaving all possibilities open, meaning a possible abdication from his post, only to answer: “No one can know what may happen. We're mortal. Maybe next year the baker won't have wood to bake the cake,” adding that “I hope we have no upsets, because we want calmness, since we want to finalize efforts, overcome the crisis, and kick the troika out.”

Reports asked Mr Papoulias directly if he thought premature elections would take place, only to answer, “I'll be here next year to hand over the presidency.”

Mr Papoulias is 84, and his term in office expires in February 2015.