Sidelined Papandreou risks it all with devastating last solo run
Through gruelling euro summits, he has looked glum, wistful, even isolated; but no one would have guessed Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was weighing the announcement that sent shockwaves through Europe yesterday.
Even his finance minister was kept in the dark until, at a meeting of deputies of his socialist party, he called a referendum on a bailout agreed only last week. What then was the genesis of the plan critics and many allies fear could pitch Greece into financial disaster? Impulse or calculation, albeit of a kind impenetrable to most?
Both traits are to be found in the character of 59-year-old Papandreou, son of a family with a long tradition in top-level Greek politics.