George Papandreou (junior)

George Papandreou (junior)

Infobox Politician
name = George Papandreou

imagesize = 200px
height =
caption =

office = President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement
term_start = February, 2004
term_end =
predecessor = Kostas Simitis
successor =
constituency =
office2 = President of the Socialist International
term_start2 = 2006
term_end2 =
predecessor2 = António Guterres
successor2 =
constituency2 =
office3 = Minister of Foreign Affairs
term_start3 = 1999
term_end3 = 2004
predecessor3 =
successor3 =
constituency3 =
office4 = Minister of National Education and Religious Affairs
term_start4 = 1994
term_end4 = 1996
majority =
birth_date = Birth date and age|1952|6|16|mf=y
birth_place = St. Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
death_date =
death_place =
party = Panhellenic Socialist Movement
relations =
spouse =
civil partner =
children =
residence =
occupation = Politician, Sociologist
religion = Greek Orthodox

website =
footnotes =

"For George Papandreou's grandfather, also called George Papandreou, see George Papandreou (senior)."

Georgios Papandreou ( _el. Γιώργος Παπανδρέου) (born June 16, 1952), Greek of Greek-American origin, has been leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) party since February 2004. The son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, he was Minister for National Education and Religious Affairs two times (1988-1989 and 1994-1996) and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1999 to 2004. In 2006 he became President of the Socialist International.


Papandreou was born in St Paul, Minnesota, in the United States, where his father, Andreas Papandreou, then held a university post. His mother is American-born Margaret Papandreou, née Chant. He was educated at schools in Toronto Canada, at Amherst College in Massachusetts, Stockholm University, the London School of Economics (LSE), and finally at Harvard University. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from Amhest 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. Apart from Greek and English he is also fluent in Swedish.

Papandreou's father studied and worked as professor of Economics from 1939 to 1959. His grandfather, the elder George Papandreou, was twice 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). He joined the Central Committee of PASOK in 1984.

Entry into politics

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 in the early 1990s.

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. Papandreou at the time was, according to the polls, the most popular politician in Greece.

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] in the publication "The Europeans of the Year" named him as "The Bridge-Builder" and "Diplomat of the Year". [] . 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 was, however, returned to his party's leadership at a leadership election in November.


Papandreou and his wife Ada have a daughter, Margarita-Elena. Papandreou also has a son, Andreas, (born 1982) from a previous marriage. He has two younger brothers, Nikos Papandreou and Andreas Papandreou, and a younger sister Sophia Papandreou.


External links

* [ Official site]
* [ Personal blog]
* [ Profile by Athens News Agency] in English
* [ Profile by Macedonian Press Agency] in Greek
* [ Acceptance speech at the Socialist International Conference (Athens 2006)]

ee also

* Politics of Greece

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