George Papandreou (junior): Wikis


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George Papandreou
Γεώργιος Παπανδρέου

Assumed office 
6 October 2009
President Karolos Papoulias
Deputy Theodoros Pangalos
Preceded by Kostas Karamanlis

In office
10 March 2004 – 6 October 2009
Preceded by Kostas Karamanlis
Succeeded by Kostas Karamanlis

Assumed office 
8 February 2004
Preceded by Kostas Simitis

Assumed office 
30 January 2006
Preceded by António Guterres

Minister for Foreign Affairs and ex officio Head of State of Mount Athos
Assumed office 
7 October 2009
Preceded by Dora Bakoyannis
In office
18 February 1999 – 13 February 2004
Preceded by Theodoros Pangalos
Succeeded by Tassos Yiannitsis

In office
8 July 1994 – 25 September 1996
Preceded by Dimitrios Fatouros
Succeeded by Gerasimos Arsenis
In office
22 June 1988 – 2 July 1989
Preceded by Apostolos Kaklamanis
Succeeded by Vasileios Kontogiannopoulos

Member of the Hellenic Parliament
Assumed office 

Born 16 June 1952 (1952-06-16) (age 57)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
United States
Nationality Greek, American
Political party Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Spouse(s) Ada Papapanou
Children Andreas (b. 1982)
Margarita-Elena (b. 1990)
Alma mater Amherst College
Stockholm University
London School of Economics
Harvard University
Profession Sociologist
Religion Greek Orthodoxy
Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Socialist International

Geórgios Papandréou (Greek: Γεώργιος Παπανδρέου, /ʝeˈoɾʝios papanˈðɾeu/; born June 16, 1952), commonly anglicized to George and shortened to Γιώργος (Giórgos, /ˈʝoɾɣos/) in Greek, is the incumbent Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece following his party's victory in the 2009 legislative election. Papandreou has been leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party since February 2004. The son and grandson of former Greek prime ministers, he twice served as Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs (1988-1989 and 1994-1996) and was Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2004. In 2006 he became President of the Socialist International.


Early life

He was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA, where his father, Andreas Papandreou, held a university post. His mother is American-born Margaret Papandreou, née Chant. He was educated at schools in Toronto, at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Stockholm University, the London School of Economics and Harvard University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Amherst and a Μaster's degree in sociology from the LSE. He was a researcher in immigration issues at Stockholm University in 1972-73. He was also a Fellow of the Foreign Relations Centre of Harvard University in 1992-93.

In 2002 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by Amherst College and in 2006 he was named Distinguished Professor in the Center for Hellenic Studies by Georgia State College of Arts and Science.

Papandreou's father studied and worked as professor of Economics from 1939 to 1959. His paternal grandfather, the elder George Papandreou, was three times Prime Minister of Greece.

The younger George Papandreou came to Greece after the restoration of Greek democracy in 1974. He then became active in his father's party, the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). Unlike other Greek male conscripts, he never had to carry out his obligatory service in the Greek military forces.[citation needed] He joined the Central Committee of PASOK in 1984.

Papandreou was elected to the Greek Parliament in 1981, the year his father became Prime Minister, as MP for the constituency of Achaea. He became Under Secretary for Cultural Affairs in 1985, Minister of Education and Religious Affairs in 1988, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1993, Minister for Education and Religious Affairs again in 1994, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs again in 1996 and Minister of Foreign Affairs in February 1999. He was also Minister Responsible for Government Coordination for the Bid for 2004 Olympic Games in 1997.

In his second term as Minister of Education, Papandreou was the first politician in Greece to introduce affirmative action, allocating 5% of university posts for the Muslim minority in Thrace. He was also instrumental in initiating the Open University in Greece.

Papandreou received numerous awards and honorary degrees in recognition of his work for human rights. As Foreign Minister he toned down the inflammatory nationalist rhetoric of his father and fostered closer relations with Turkey and Albania with which Greece had traditionally hostile relations. He worked tirelessly to solve the dispute over Cyprus; his efforts helped bring together the Annan Plan. Papandreou, like all other political leaders, was unwilling to make concessions on Greece's fundamental position that Cyprus must be reunited and accepted that this could not lead to a status quo ante of a normal unified state. However, the Republic of Cyprus entered the European Union and become a full member of the E.U. family in 2004. Papandreou also worked to resolve tensions regarding the Macedonia naming dispute.

Party leadership

In anticipation of the 2004 national elections in Greece, polls indicated that PASOK was very likely to lose as the conservative New Democracy party was heading towards a landslide. In January 2004, the incumbent PM Costas Simitis announced his resignation as leader of PASOK, and passed the leadership to Papandreou by recommending him as the new leader.

On February 8, 2004 PASOK introduced for the first time the procedure of open primaries for the election of party leadership. Even if Papandreou had no opponent, this was a move designed to solidify the open primaries, democratise the party, and make a clean break with a tradition of “dynastic politics.”

In December 2003 European Voice[1] in the publication "The Europeans of the Year" named him as "The Bridge-Builder" and "Diplomat of the Year".[2]. Le Monde has called him the "architect of Greek-Turkish rapprochement". He is a founding member of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly.

In May 2005, Papandreou was elected Vice President of the Socialist International following a proposal by the former President, António Guterres. In January 2006, Papandreou was unanimously elected President of the Socialist International.

In the 2007 general election, PASOK again lost to the incumbent New Democracy party of Kostas Karamanlis and Papandreou’s leadership was challenged by Evangelos Venizelos and Kostas Skandalidis. Papandreou, however, retained his party's leadership at a leadership election in November.

In June 2009 and under his leadership, his party won the 2009 European Parliament election in Greece.[3] Four months later, PASOK won the October 2009 general elections with 43.92 % of the popular vote to ND's 33.48 %, and 160 parliament seats to 91.[4]


Prime Minister

George Papandreou takes the oath of office of the Prime Minister of Greece.

The inauguration of George Papandreou as the 182nd Prime Minister of Greece took place on October 6, 2009.[5][6]

Upon inauguration, Papandreou's government revealed that its finances were far worse than previous announcements, with a budget deficit of 12.7% of GDP, four times more than the eurozone's limit, and a public debt of $410 billion.[7] This announcement only served to worsen the severe crisis the Greek economy was undergoing, with an unemployment rate of 10%[8] and the country's debt rating being lowered to BBB+, the lowest in the eurozone[9]. Papandreou responded by promoting austerity measures[10], reducing spending, increasing taxes[11], freezing additional taxes and hiring and introducing measures aimed at combatting rampant tax evasion[12] and reducing the country's bloated public sector. The announced austerity program caused a wave of nationwide strikes[13] and has been criticised by both the EU and the eurozone nations' finance ministers as falling short of its goals[14].

Personal life

Apart from Greek and English, he is also fluent in Swedish, French, and Spanish.

Papandreou and his wife Ada have a daughter, Margarita-Elena. He also has a son, Andreas, (born 1982) from a previous marriage, 1976-1987, to Evanthia Zissimides, born in Cyprus and raised in England. He has two younger brothers, Nikos Papandreou and Andreas Papandreou, and two younger sisters, Sophia Papandreou and Emilia Nyblom.

Honours and decorations


  • 1988: " Botsis's Foundation for the Promotion of Journalism " award for "his multifaceted struggles, which established the Free Radio as part of our democratic institutions"
  • 1996: SOS against Racism, and affiliated organizations" Committee award, for his work against racism and anti-Semitism
  • 1997: Abdi Ipekci special award for Peace and Friendship ( June 1997) "for his activities in favor of Greek-Turkish approach during the period 1995-1996 while serving as Minister of National Education and Religion"
  • 2000: Eastwest Institute 2000 Awards - Peace Building Awards . The 2000 "Statesman of the Year Award" given to Foreign Minister George Papandreou of Greece and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem of Turkey for their great efforts at improving relations between their respective countries
  • 2002: Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award (United States Sport Academy)
  • 2003: Recipient: Defender of Democracy (Parliamentarians for Global Action)
  • 2006: Open Fields Award (Truce Foundation USA)

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Papandreou
  3. ^ "European election results 2009 for Greece". Results of the 2009 European Elections. Ministry of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  4. ^ "Greek legislative election, 2009 results". Results of the 2009 Greek legislative elections. Ministry of Internal Affairs. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  5. ^ Mavrona, Katerina (2009-10-06). "New PM George Papandreou takes office". ANA-MPA ( Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  6. ^ "Papandreou sworn in as Greek PM". BBC News. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  7. ^ "Greece Bailout: France, Germany Angry Over Rescue". Time Magazine. 2010-02-16.,8599,1964443,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  8. ^ "Greece's unemployment rate hits 10%". BBC News. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  9. ^ "Greece's Debt and Economy Woes: As Bad as Dubai's?". Time Magazine. 2009-12-09.,8599,1946594,00.html?iid=sphere-inline-sidebar. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  10. ^ "Greece unveils austerity programme to cut deficit". BBC News. 2010-02-03. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  11. ^ "Greek Tragedy: Athens' Financial Woes". Time Magazine. 2010-02-15.,9171,1959059,00.html. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  12. ^ "No tax please, we're Greek". BBC News. 2010-02-11. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  13. ^ "Greece hit by nationwide strike over austerity measures". BBC News. 2010-02-10. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 
  14. ^ "Greece told to make more spending cuts". BBC Nwes. 2010-02-16. Retrieved 2010-02-17. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Apostolos Kaklamanis
Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs
Succeeded by
Vasileios Kontogiannopoulos
Preceded by
Dimitrios Fatouros
Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs
Succeeded by
Gerasimos Arsenis
Preceded by
Theodoros Pangalos
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Succeeded by
Tassos Yiannitsis
Preceded by
Kostas Karamanlis
Prime Minister of Greece
Preceded by
Dora Bakoyannis
Minister for Foreign Affairs
Party political offices
Preceded by
Costas Simitis
President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by
António Guterres
President of Socialist International


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