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Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou announces new party before Jan 25 poll

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ATHENS, Greece — Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has announced the formation of a new party about three weeks before a snap national election on Jan. 25.

PHOTO: FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 file photo Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses Socialist lawmaker members of parliament in Athens, in Athens, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. Former Greek prime minister George Papandreou has revealed plans to create a new political party — a development that will see him break away from the once powerful PanHellenic Socialist Movement founded by his father. Papandreou, 62, announced the plan on his website Friday, Jan . 2 , 2015, ahead of a snap general election on Jan. 25. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)
FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011 file photo Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou addresses Socialist lawmaker members of parliament in Athens, in Athens, on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. Former Greek prime minister George Papandreou has revealed plans to create a new political party — a development that will see him break away from the once powerful PanHellenic Socialist Movement founded by his father. Papandreou, 62, announced the plan on his website Friday, Jan . 2 , 2015, ahead of a snap general election on Jan. 25. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

Papandreou unveiled the Movement of Democrat Socialists on Saturday in front of thousands of supporters.

Papandreou, the son and grandson of prime ministers, presented himself as a determined reformist against the old "corrupt" system that brought the protracted financial crisis to Greece. He led the PASOK party, founded by his father in 1974, from 2004 to 2012.

As prime minister from 2009 to 2011, he bore the brunt of the crisis and the onus of signing a bailout deal, which, although it prevented Greece from defaulting, is detested by many because the economy shrank by over a quarter and unemployment soared to record levels.

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