Amidst reigning economic and political instability, Greece finally elected Antonis Samaras as its Prime Minister on 20 June 2012. Antonis Samaras represents the conservative New Democracy party, and it is expected that he will be the leader who will guide Greece out of the uncertainty and turmoil which has been prevalent for the past 3 years.
Antonis Samaras is an economist and politician who has been sworn in as the Prime Minister of Greece on 20 June 2012. Antonis Samaras was born in Athens. He studied economics at Amherst College and management at Harvard University. He was elected a Member of Parliament for Messenia from 1977 onwards. He was the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the New Democracy government under the Prime Ministership of Konstantinos Mitsotakis in 1989. Antonis Samaras was the Finance Minister of Greece in 1989 and he also served as the Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1989 to 1990 and again from 1990 to 1992. In 1992 owing to a controversy which centred on Macedonia, he was expelled from the New Democracy party. Then he founded his own party called Political Spring in June 1993. In 1993 the defection of one member of New Democracy — which was then in power — to Samaras’ Political Spring toppled the government. Political Spring gained approximately 5 per cent of the votes in 1993 General Elections bagging 10 seats in the Greek Parliament. In the subsequent year they gained 8.7 per cent of the votes in the European Parliamentary Elections earning two seats. In 2000, Political Spring did not participate in the Parliamentary Elections of Greece and Samaras supported the New Democracy party publicly. After dissolving his own party, Samaras rejoined the New Democracy party in 2004. He contested the European elections and was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP).
Samaras was once again elected to the Greek Parliament for Messenia in the 2007 Greek Legislative Elections. Subsequently in 2007 he resigned from the European Parliament. He was the leader of New Democracy, the main conservative party of Greece from 2009 onwards. He was the Minister of Culture in 2009.
In May 2012, when the New Democracy party became the largest party in the Greek Parliament, the President, Karolos Papoulias ordered Samaras to form the government. After Samaras failed to form the government the task was given to Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the Syriza party which is the second largest party of the country. He too was unable to form the government. In June 2012, the Greeks chose the New Democracy party in the elections. The party bagged 129 seats and formed the government with Samaras as the Prime Minister. It remains to be seen how Samaras performs as a Prime Minister, especially at a time when the economy of Greece is on the verge of insolvency with over $400 billion debt.