Europe's economic crisis has been driving leaders from power, one after another. Among those toppled was George Papandreou, who stepped down as the prime minister of Greece last November, just two years into his government's four-year term.
Many Greeks have harshly criticized him for agreeing to austerity measures in exchange for billions in international bailout loans. Just before he left office, Papandreou tried to build public support by asking for a referendum on the bailout and, by association, the euro. But the referendum never happened; terrified European Union leaders, as well as many Greeks, rejected that idea.
Recently, the 59-year-old American-born sociologist also stepped down as leader of PASOK, the Socialist party his father founded in 1974, after Greece returned to democracy following seven years of military rule.
The Papandreous, who are a bit like the Kennedys of Greece, have played a leading role in Greek politics for more than half a century. The debt crisis stalled this dynasty, at minimum. But Papandreou says he's at peace with his decisions.
"I was very conscious of the difficulties," he says. "I knew that these would not be popular. And I knew, sooner or later, I would be very much the target."