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The debt drama unfolding in Greece is made even more gripping by the long relationship between two of the country’s leaders, former Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou and the head of the conservative opposition, Andonis Samaras (MBA ’76). The pair became close friends while students at Amherst and were fellow backbenchers in the Greek Parliament in the 1980s, “reminiscing about their college years in between heated political debates and cross fire,” the Los Angeles Times (August 18, 2011) reported. “The two men have locked horns in a rash of recent debates, trading unprecedented personal jabs and polarizing Greece’s already high-octane political climate even further.”

Samaras supports budgetary and economic reforms to improve Greece’s debt situation, but with the country mired in its fourth year of recession, he has refused to endorse further austerity measures. “What we need the most,” he declared, “is a change in policy mix so that we can regenerate recovery, reduce the deficit, and service our debt.” Added Samaras, “I am prepared to negotiate and take the responsibility for any policy that has a good chance of working. Anything else will just serve to hide problems or prolong them. We need problem solving, not procrastination.”

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 1976, Section G

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