Antonis Samaras '74

Antonis Samaras ’74 has been the Prime Minister of Greece since 20 June 2012.  He was born in Athens in 1951, and lived a sweet life amongst the Greek elite, playing tennis and going to nice parties.  He won the Greek Teen Tennis Championship at age 17. He attended Athens College, and then went on to major in economics at Amherst.  At Amherst he was roommates with former Prime Minister George Papandreou, although the two later became bitter political rivals.  After Amherst, Samaras went to Harvard and received his MBA in 1976.

 

 

In 1977, Samaras was elected a member of the parliament.  In 1989 he became the Greek Finance Minister, and later the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the New Democracy Government.  The New Democracy is Samaras’s party, Greece’s major conservative party.  Samaras was frustrated with the way in which the government compromised over the Macedonian Question on what the newly independent Republic of Macedonia should call itself given the fact that many Greeks identify as Macedonians.  Samaras and other hard-core nationalists did not want the word Macedonia in the name of the new country.  Samaras broke away from the New Democracy government and founded his own party, Political Spring, even further to the right than New Democracy.  The defection of one of the Members of Parliament from New Democracy caused the party to fall from power in 1993.  Political Spring never really caught on, and Samaras re-joined New Democracy in 2000.

 

 

In 2009, Samaras was elected leader of New Democracy.  He is now continuing to serve as Prime Minister of Greece.