Greece: does Syriza have a rising star?
Stefanos Kasselakis, an Athens-born entrepreneur who was educated and worked in the US until recently, has won the first round of the left-wing Syriza party’s internal election for its leadership. Over 146,000 members voted, giving the newcomer almost 45 percent of the vote. Ex-labour minister Efi Achtsioglou came second with around 36 percent. A run-off will take place on Sunday. Commentators eye the candidate with suspicion.
A symptom of post-politics
Kasselakis is a very contemporary phenomenon, explains Phileleftheros:
“In Greece, people are already talking about post-politics. A man appears out of nowhere. Handsome with a model’s figure. Young, just 35 years old, a golden boy who came from America. He knows how to make the most of modern media and promotes what he wants to promote. Without inhibitions he proclaims his sexual identity. He demands the separation of church and state and when his critics ask him about his professional past at Goldman Sachs, he answers: ‘If I hadn’t worked for capital, I wouldn’t understand [Mitsotakis’] arrogance’.”
Candidate of the desperate
It is the absence of hope that opens the way for candidates like Kasselakis, website New247 laments:
“Syriza voters are frustrated to the point of despair. ... Desperate voters don’t listen to anything. They don’t care if the person they elect has nothing to do with the left. Nor do they care that just two months ago he was glorifying Kyriakos Mitsotakis. For them it’s enough that today he tells them: ‘I can beat him’. The desperate like to hear that, even if they don’t believe it. ... It’s enough for them that in their desperation they’ve found something to cling to, something to believe in.”