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Stefanos Kasselakis Is the New Leader of SYRIZA

Stefanos Kasselakis, the new leader of the Greek political party Syriza
Stefanos Kasselakis. Credit: AMNA

Stefanos Kasselakis is the new SYRIZA-PA leader after winning the second round ballot over Efi Achtsioglou on Sunday’s party election. Syriza is the second largest party in the Greek Parliament and its former party chairman, Alexis Tsipras, served as Prime Minister of Greece from 2015 to 2019.

President of the Central Electoral Committee for the SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, Yiannis Drosos, has announced the results of 75 percent of the total vote count that give the party newcomer a clear win over Efi Achtsioglou.

Specifically, Stefanos Kasselakis received 56,461 votes, amounting to 56.60 percent, while
Efi Ahtsioglou received 43,139 votes, or 43.31 percent.

A total 133,261 party members voted in the second round.

Kasselakis won the first round last Sunday with 66,156 votes (44.91 percent) over the former finance minister (53,292 votes, 36.18 percent), so he was likely to win the second round as well.

Kasselakis goes straight to the Top

Stefanos Kasselakis became widely known in Greece less than a month ago, when he launched a barrage of social media posts and videos and announcing his candidacy for the SYRIZA-PA leadership.

His political ideas and speech became popular in social media as they lacked the toxicity that has marred Greece’s political scene in the past few years.

His ideas about what Greece and its people are capable of added a much-needed note of hope in a country that in the past year has suffered major catastrophes from fires, floods and multiple-death accidents.

It is also his good, clean cut looks and friendly smile that have won many people from all sides of the political spectrum.

Even the fact that he is openly gay and lives with his partner has not bothered even conservative people who are tired of the degradation of the political status quo.

Ironically, the people who are most annoyed by his presence are the SYRIZA-PA diehard leftists who remain suspicious of his US background.

Also, they do not seem convinced by Kasselakis’ statement that he realized how bad capitalism is when he worked for Goldman Sacks.

Meet Stefanos Kasselakis

Stefanos Kasselakis was born in Maroussi, a northern suburb of Athens, in 1988. At age 14 he moved with his family to the United States.

A silver medal in the “Archimedes” competition of the Hellenic Mathematical Society in the Balkan Youth Mathematics Olympiad won him a full scholarship from Phillips Academy, a university-preparatory high school in Andover, Massachusetts.

Once in the US, the young Greek attended the University of Pennsylvania’s Huntsman Program on an Andreas Dracopoulos scholarship and received two degrees: Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Wharton School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the College of Arts & Sciences.

Alongside his studies, Kasselakis volunteered on the staff of Senator Joe Biden for the 2008 presidential election. He also worked at the foreign policy think tank Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC.

For a number of years, he was a contributor for The National Herald, initially writing the student column and finance later on.

In 2009, he was hired by Goldman Sachs in London and later in New York as a junior analyst but was fired in 2015.

During the economic crisis in Greece, he founded the non-profit online platform ‘CVfromGreece,’ through which he helped young people improve their CVs for applications for work or study abroad.

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