A little-known former shipping company director and formertrader From Goldman Sachs, 35-year-old Stefanos Kasselakis surprised everyone by winning the elections for the leadership of Syriza, the left-wing Greek opposition party.
The businessman, who defends transparency, the increase of labor and social rights, the acceleration of justice and the abolition of the benefits of bankers and politicians, will succeed Alexis Tsipras, who left office after the party’s election defeat – which 20 points for the New Party. Democracy, the worst result in more than a decade.
According to preliminary results of the second round, Kasselakis won more than 56% of the votes against rival Effie Achtsioglou, a 38-year-old former minister of labor and social security. Two former Syriza ministers were also involved in the race.
The new leader was born in Athens but moved to the US at the age of 14 after winning a school scholarship. According to his resume, he studied international and economic studies at the University of Pennsylvania, speaks five languages and worked as a volunteer on Joe Biden’s campaign for the White House in 2008.
He worked at Goldman Sachs as trader in raw materialsbefore becoming CEDO of UK-based shipowners SwiftBulk Holding.
The rise of Kasselakis, a newcomer to politics, is unprecedented in a country where party cadres typically have a background in student politics or are children of deputies or ministers – the current head of government, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, was the son of another former prime minister. Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis,
Kasselakis is also the first leader to publicly announce his homosexuality.