He was born in 1918 in Chania and he was a grand-nephew of Eleftherios Venizelos. He studied Law, Political and Economic Sciences in the University of Athens. During the war against the Italian invasion in Epirus he fought in the front while during the occupation of Greece by the German forces he was the first to form organisations of Resistance in Crete and he was arrested by the Germans and sentenced to death.
In 1945 he contributed to the bloodless surrender of the German forces at Crete.
After the end of the war he became involved in politics and he was elected MP in the list of the Liberal Party. He was elected in the parliament with the same party between 1950 and 1958. In 1961 he joined the party Center Union that had been formed by Georgios Papandreou and Sofoklis Venizelos. He was elected MP on the list of the Center Union both in 1961 and 1963, and had been appointed Minister in the governments of Plastiras, Sofoklis Venizelos and Georgios Papandreou several times. However he played a leading part in the internal conflicts of the Center Union party.
Constantinos Mitsotakis also played an important part in what is known as "July's events", during which Prime Minister Georgios Papandreou was removed by King Constantinos, followed by the "defection" of several MPs from the "Center Union" party. He was a member of the successive governments of the defectors.
During 1967's dictatorship he was arrested and kept in confinement until he managed to escape to France.
In the first elections after the political changeover he was an independent candidate MP but did not get elected. In 1977 he was elected MP as the leader of the party of the "New Liberals" and a few months later he joined the party of New Democracy and took over the Ministry of Co-ordination in the government of Constantinos Karamanlis and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the government of Georgios Rallis.
In September 1984 he became leader of "New Democracy" overcoming Costis Stefanopoulos, to succeed Evangelos Averov.
He served as a Prime Minister from April 1990 until October 1993 when MPs of New Democracy Stephanos Stephanopoulos and Georgios Simbilidis left the parliamentary group of the party and led Mitsotakis to early elections.
He remained the leader of the party until the day following the elections to be succeeded by Miltiadis Evert current leader of New Democracy. He was named "honorary president" of the party but ever since, he has remained in politics and takes part in the political council of New Democracy.
Married to Marika Mitsotaki, he has three children, a son and three daughters, one of whom is Dora Bakogianni, an MP for New Democracy since November 1989.
© 1996 Macedonian Press Agency