George Papandreou (1888-1968)

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George Papandreou (Georgios Andreou Papandreou) (pä´pəndrā´ōō), 1952–, Greek political leader, b. Minnesota. The son of Andreas Papandreou and grandson of George Papandreou (1888–1968), he spent much of his first three decades abroad while his father was in exile. As a member of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok), he was elected to the Greek parliament in 1981 and subsequently served as a deputy culture minister (1985–87) in his father's cabinet. In the 1990s he held a number of ministerial posts, becoming foreign minister (1999–2004) at the end of the decade. Papandreou succeeded Costas Simitis as Pasok's party leader in 2004, but Pasok lost two subsequent parliamentary elections, forcing Papandreou to fend off a party leadership challenge in 2007. In 2009 he led Pasok to victory in a snap election and became premier. His government was subsequently forced to adopt a series of austerity measures and seek international guarantees of aid to deal with burgeoning budget deficits and debt and the threat of default. His move (Oct., 2011) to call a referendum on a European Union rescue plan undermined his government, and led to his resignation and formation of a government of national unity; he stepped down as party leader in Mar., 2012. In 2015 he broke with Pasok and formed the Movement of Democratic Socialists, which failed to win any seats in the election that year.

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George Papandreou (pä´pəndrā´ōō), 1888–1968, Greek political leader, father of Andreas Papandreou and grandfather of George Papandreou (b. 1952). As a young man he became involved in antiroyalist politics, serving as a member of parliament, interior minister (1923), and in several other government posts during the Republic of 1924–35. He was exiled in 1936 by the Greek dictator John Metaxas. Papandreou was active in the Greek resistance in World War II and headed (1944–45) the government-in-exile. A staunch anti-Communist, he served (1946–52) in a number of Social Democratic cabinets and formed (1961) the liberal Center Union party, which won the elections of Nov., 1963. Papandreou's progressive policies as premier aroused much opposition in conservative circles. In July, 1965, he was dismissed by King Constantine II following a dispute over control of the ministry of defense. After the military coup by George Papadopoulos in Apr., 1967, Papandreou was arrested and then placed sporadically under house detention until his death.