FOR Greeks, he’s the change they’ve been waiting for. For European leaders, he’s a politician’s worst nightmare
Published January 27, 2015
(SOURCE) Greece’s new Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was sworn in overnight after a stunning victory for the far-left party Syriza. Wearing no necktie and opting to eschew the traditional religious ceremony in favour of a secular one, the new leader’s first act was to lay flowers at a memorial to Greek resistance fighters.
It’s a symbolic move for the man who is the youngest prime minister to lead the country in 150 years. The former civil engineer and young communist — who even named his son Ernesto after Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevera — has led the party since 2008 when he was elected at age 34, and is seen as a skilful negotiator who has held together a grab bag of assorted left wing groups.
He’s since made his career on a platform of resistance and revolution. The one-time Athens mayoral candidate also ran for Prime Minister in 2012 and wanted to break from the eurozone.
This time around he’s changed his mind, but wants to renegotiate the terms of the $340 billion bailout in a country where the black market is responsible for nearly half of the country’s GDP, the Daily Beast reports.
It’s a position that has earned him the dubious title of “the man who could break Europe” as leaders and finance markets fear the new PM’s decisions could lead to a Greek exit from the eurozone.
He’s also been likened to Harry Potter by a former deputy prime minister, for promising “paradise on earth without sacrifices, a return to prosperity in some sort of magical way,” the Independent reports.