New Greek prime minister is second in recent years who attended Amherst College

ATHENS, GREECE - JUNE 20: Newly appointed Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samara (R) is sworn in at the presidential palace as President Karolos Papoulias (C rear) June 20, 2012 in Athens, Greece. Samaras pledged to pull his debt-stricken country back from the brink of bankruptcyin his first comments after being sworn in. (Photo by Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)
Only a few decades ago Antonis Samaras was just another undergrad in Amherst. On Wednesday, he was sworn in at the presidential palace in Athens.
Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Sitting in the hot seat of a country in turmoil, Greece’s new prime minister might well be looking back to his college days — at dear old Amherst College, the small liberal arts school in Western Massachusetts.

Antonis Samaras, an Amherst and Harvard Business School graduate, was sworn in Wednesday.

In a strange alignment of the stars, Samaras is the second Greek prime minister in recent years who attended Amherst, which currently enrolls about 1,700 undergraduates. He is also the third Greek prime minister in a row who went to college in Massachusetts.

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His predecessor, Lucas Papademos, attended MIT and worked as a visiting professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Before Papademos came George Papandreou, who attended Amherst College and actually lived in a dorm with Samaras in the early 1970s.

Samaras is the head of the conservative New Democracy Party. He takes office at a time the country’s economy is spiraling downward and the government is bleeding cash, the New York Times reported today.

All eyes are on Greece. Experts say its problems are in danger of spreading through Europe and causing economic trouble worldwide.