|Birth Day:||May 23, 1951|
|Birth Place:||Athens, Greece|
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At age seventeen, he won the Greek Teen Tennis Championship.
Samaras grew up among the Athens well-connected families, playing tennis. At the age of 17, he won the Greek Teen Tennis Championship. He attended school in the Athens College (founded by his maternal great-grandfather, Stefanos Delta and Emmanouil Benakis, Delta's father-in-law) and graduated from Amherst College in 1974 with a degree in economics, and then from Harvard University in 1976 with an MBA.
Samaras has been elected as a Member of Parliament, initially for Messinia, from 1977 onward. In 1989 he became Minister of Finance, later advancing to become the Minister of Foreign Affairs in the New Democracy government of Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis (1990–1993), from which post he caused the Macedonia naming dispute to ignite. In a meeting of the Greek political leaders under the President of the Republic on the naming dispute on 13 April 1992, Samaras presented his own conditions for the solution of the crisis. These were rejected by both the President of the Republic, Konstantinos Karamanlis as well as the Prime Minister, Konstantinos Mitsotakis. Samaras was subsequently removed from Minister of Foreign Affairs.
After being removed from his post, Samaras founded his own party, Political Spring (Greek: Πολιτική Άνοιξη, romanised as Politiki Anoixi), located politically to the right of New Democracy. The defection of one Member of Parliament from New Democracy to Samaras' party caused the government's fall from power in 1993.
Political Spring gained 4.9% of the vote in the 1993 general election, earning ten seats in the Hellenic Parliament. They gained 8.7% in the elections in the 1994 European Parliament elections, earning two seats. Its decline started in the 1996 general election, when it gained 2.94 per cent, just below the 3 per cent threshold necessary to enter parliament. They participated in the 1999 European Parliament elections, but only got 2.3%, which was not enough to elect MEPs.
Political Spring did not participate in the 2000 general election; Samaras publicly supported the New Democracy party. Before the 2004 general election, Samaras dissolved his party, rejoined New Democracy and he was elected a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) in the 2004 European elections.
In the 2007 general election he was elected to the Hellenic Parliament for Messinia and consequently resigned from the European Parliament. He was succeeded by Margaritis Schinas. In January 2009 he was appointed Minister of Culture following a government reshuffle. In this capacity he inaugurated the new Acropolis Museum in July 2009. He was reelected in Messenia in 2009.
Prime Minister George Papandreou announced his government's plans on 31 October to hold a referendum on the acceptance of the terms of a Eurozone bailout deal. The referendum was to be held in December 2011 or January 2012. Following vehement opposition from both within and outside the country, Papandreou however scrapped the plan a few days later on 3 November.
After several days of intense negotiations, the two major parties along with the Popular Orthodox Rally agreed to form a grand coalition headed by former Vice President of the European Central Bank Lucas Papademos. On 10 November, George Papandreou formally resigned as Prime Minister of Greece. The new coalition cabinet and Prime Minister Lucas Papademos were formally sworn in on 11 November 2011.
On 5 November, his government only narrowly won a confidence vote in the Greek Parliament and Samaras called for immediate elections. The next day Papandreou met with opposition leaders trying to reach an agreement on the formation of an interim national unity government. However, Samaras only gave in, after Papandreou agreed to step aside, allowing the EU bailout to proceed and paving the way for elections on 19 February 2012.
Voters once again took to the polls in the widely watched June 2012 election. The New Democracy party came out on top in a stronger position with 129 seats, compared to 108 in the May election. On 20 June 2012, Samaras successfully formed a coalition with the PASOK (now led by former Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos) and the Democratic Left (DIMAR). The new government had a majority of 28 (which was later reduced to 18), with Syriza, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), Golden Dawn (XA) and the Communist Party (KKE) comprising the opposition. The PASOK and DIMAR chose to take a limited role in Samaras's Cabinet, being represented by party officials and independent technocrats instead of MPs.
The Democratic Left left the coalition on 21 June 2013 in protest at the closure of the nation's public broadcaster Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation (ERT), leaving Samaras with a slim majority of 153 ND and PASOK MPs combined. The two remaining parties proceeded to negotiate a cabinet reshuffle that resulted in a significantly expanded role for PASOK in the new coalition government. A further reshuffle followed the 2014 European Parliament election.
Samaras implemented a series of reforms and austerity measures with the aim of reducing government budget deficits and making the Greek economy competitive. In 2013 he passed reform bills approving the layoff of 15,000 public employees, among them high school teachers, school guards and municipal policemen. At the same time, he cut value-added tax (VAT) in restaurants to 13 percent from 23 percent. He also passed a bill instituting the Single Property Tax and the auction of houses. The Minister of Administrative Reform and e-Governance Kyriakos Mitsotakis implemented an evaluation process on the public sector to locate surplus staff members.
Greece achieved a primary government budget surplus in 2013. In April 2014, Greece returned to the global bond market as it successfully sold €3 billion worth of five-year government bonds at a yield of 4.95%. Greece's credit rating was upgraded by Fitch from B− to B. Greece returned to growth after six years of economic decline in the second quarter of 2014, and was the eurozone's fastest-growing economy in the third quarter. Tourism also grew. It is estimated that throughout 2013 Greece welcomed over 17.93 million tourists, an increase of 10% compared to 2012. More than 22 million tourists visited Greece in 2014. On healthcare, Minister for Health Adonis Georgiadis gave complete free pharmaceutical coverage to more than 2.000.000 uninsured citizens, with the cost being set at 340 million euros.
On 9 December 2014, Samaras announced the candidacy of New Democracy politician Stavros Dimas for the position of President of Greece. Dimas failed to secure the required majority of MPs of the Hellenic Parliament in the first three rounds of voting. According to the provisions of the Constitution of Greece, snap elections were held on 25 January 2015, which were won by Syriza. Tsipras succeeded Samaras, who resigned as Leader of New Democracy on 5 July 2015, following the overwhelming victory of the "No" vote in the bailout referendum, naming Vangelis Meimarakis as transitional leader. Samaras had been backing a "Yes" vote, together with his party, before the referendum.
Currently, Antonis Samaras is 70 years, 6 months and 9 days old. Antonis Samaras will celebrate 71st birthday on a Monday 23rd of May 2022.
Find out about Antonis Samaras birthday activities in timeline view here.