Taped to the door of Syriza’s newest local office, a former bank branch on a busy central Athens street where Greeks used to line up to get loans, is a photocopy of a clenched fist and the words “to be continued.”
In a mountain village where Greeks began their liberation from Ottoman Turks two centuries ago and now go to ski, Dimitris Lourantakis says he’s proud to be among voters pushing to throw out Greece’s political ruling class.
Socialist Prime Minister George Papandreou promised to undo decades of welfare policy to win an international bailout for Greece. Keeping the lifeline will force him to reverse another legacy left by past leaders, including his father: corruption and a bloated bureaucracy.
A couple of months ago, around the time Greece passed new austerity measures to ward off economic catastrophe, Nicholas Papandreou , the very tall brother of Greece’s Prime Minister, George Papandreou , was riding the Metro in Athens. The Papandreous, now in the third generation of a Socialist political dynasty, live in rented houses, drive Priuses, and, apparently, take the subway, even during times of extraordinary anger toward the government.
Prime Minister George Papandreou promised a year ago that he would “change” debt-stricken Greece. “We’ll be back here at the edge of the precipice again some years down the road” otherwise, he said in an interview.