ATHENS, Greece – Two years ago, when George Papandreou led Greece’s Socialist party to its worst election result in three decades, he was widely derided as an ineffective politician.
The son and grandson of Greek prime ministers, Papandreou was seen by critics as a pale shadow of his dynamic and charismatic father, Andreas Papandreou, who founded the Panhellenic Socialist Movement party, or PASOK, and led it with an iron fist to three election victories from 1981-1993.
Now, at 57, Papandreou has come into his own after leading his party to a resounding victory over Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’ conservative New Democracy.
Many consider this more a rejection of a failed government than a personal endorsement of Papandreou, but he won Sunday’s vote by an unexpectedly wide margin and a secure parliamentary majority.
Final Rally before election: