New Greek premier expected soon as Papandreou steps aside

    2011/11/09

NSFW    A new Greek premier is expected soon as George Papandreou has stepped aside.

The motto of Amherst College is "Terras Irradient", that's Latin for "let them enlighten the lands." Enlightened or not, Amherst alumnus George Papandreou and opposition leader Antonis Samaras certainly lit up the political landscape in Greece with drama lately.

After flip-flopping on an EU bailout deal and incurring the ire of just about everyone, Papandreou finally decided to step down. An interim premier will be appointed, but when elections are held next year, the person who ends up with the seat could be his old college roommate/frenemy for life Samaras.

As students, Papandreou was a left-wing flower child who liked to strum on his guitar. Samaras, on the other hand, was a conservative Econ major who loved free market economics on one hand and hosting parties with lots of Smithies on the other. Over pizza in their dorm room, the two joked about ruling Greece together. But they joined different political parties and ended up being bitter rivals instead. Papandreou followed in his father and grandfather's footsteps and became Prime Minister in 2009. In the same year, Samaras was elected leader of the main opposition party.

Papandreou is not the only EU leader to lose his job as the sovereign debt crisis racks Europe. Berlusconi is also stepping down from his post as Prime Minister of Italy.
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