German paper picks Samaras as politician of the year

German daily Handelsblatt has selected Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras as the politician of the year in Europe.

The financial newspaper chose the New Democracy leader saying that in hard times "he realized what the interest of the country called for and responded to the challenge."

In the comment written by former Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher, praise goes to the courage and the consistence of the Greek premier.

"The challenge for Antonis Samaras was to speak of his own as well as the Greek mistakes of the past and to accept the necessary consequences.

"The clarity of his positions and his ability to enforce them have laid the groundwork of trust that the decision by the European partners required for the bailout package, the extent of which no one could have thought of a few years ago," wrote Genscher.

The distinction for Samaras comes just over a year after European leaders were worried over whether he would sign up to their demands, in late 2011.