New SYRIZA leader Kaselakis takes over from Tsipras
"GREEK SOCIETY IS IN GREAT DIFFICULTIES"
Kaselakis and Tsipras met in a private office in the parliament. Tsipras congratulated Kaselakis, who won the second round of presidential elections yesterday and assumed the party leadership. Tsipras warned Kaselakis, who had no previous parliamentary or ministerial experience, about the difficulties of politics and said, "Greek society is in great difficulties. We must provide hope and perspective in a spirit of unity and comradeship."
CONGRATULATORY PHONE CALL FROM PRIME MINISTER MITSOTAKIS
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis also called Kaselakis and congratulated him. Mitsotakis invited the new leader of SYRIZA to meet in the near future.
THE PROMISE OF BECOMING A MODERN EUROPEAN COUNTRY
"SYRIZA will win from now on," Kaselakis said in a statement after the announcement of the election results. Stating that he is the voice of the people, Kaselakis said, "Let's make Greece a progressive, modern European country." Kaselakis announced that he would make his first trip abroad to the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus.
"CHANGE" COMMENT IN THE PRESS
The change of leader in the main opposition party was on the front pages of Greek newspapers today. Ta Nea carried the headline "The page has turned for the left" and quoted Kaselakis as saying "I am not a phenomenon, I am the voice of a society that I respect and value. I will never betray it."
The pro-SYRIZA Avgi newspaper, in its front-page news, quoted Kaselakis as saying "Let's be a great democratic political organisation that will bring change. SYRIZA is here, will continue to be here and will win."
EFSYN newspaper, on the other hand, used the expression "Hope should not turn into worry" in its headline. Stating that a new era has begun for SYRIZA, the newspaper stated that there are many question marks for the future of the party.
CRITICISM OF THE CHANGE IN SYRIZA
The Greek press also commented that Kaselakis' lack of political experience and his newness in the party would harm SYRIZA's left-wing ideology and could cause a split within the party.
Eleftheros Typos newspaper, in its headline news with the title "SYRIZA Two Parties", evaluated that Kaselakis' election to the party leadership could cause a split within the party. Stating that Kaselakis did not mention political issues in his statements, the newspaper said, "It is as if he won Eurovision." commented the newspaper.
Stelyos Kuloglu, SYRIZA's MEP for the European Parliament, also told OPEN TV that Kaselakis, who has no political background, becoming the main opposition leader "should be taught as a lesson in Political Science faculties all over the world. It happened for the first time and I don't think it will happen again. It happened because there was a crisis in SYRIZA and a corrupting tendency in the ideology."
KASELAKIS WON THE ELECTION IN THE SECOND ROUND
Kaselakis, who entered the leadership race with former Labour Minister Efi Ashcioglu in the second round of elections held yesterday, won the election and became the new president of the party after Tsipras. Kaselakis, who had not previously served as an MP or minister, met SYRIZA in 2021.
At the invitation of former SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, who led SYRIZA to power in 2015, Kaselakis stood as a parliamentary candidate in the general elections of May and June 2023, but failed to qualify for parliament.
Kaselakis, 35, who immigrated to the USA at the age of 14 as a full scholarship student due to his outstanding success in mathematics, studied finance and economics, worked at Goldman Sachs for a while and then founded his own company in the field of maritime transport.
TSIPRAS WITHDREW FROM THE LEADERSHIP AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTIONS
After the general elections on 25 June, Tsipras stated that the party needed a change and announced that he would not run for the party presidency.
Tsipras, who assumed the leadership of the party at the age of 34, stated that the results of the general elections imposed two tasks on SYRIZA, namely to assume the main opposition and to go for change.
SYRIZA, which became the main opposition with 31.53 per cent of the vote in the July 2019 general election, recorded a significant decline in its vote share, although it maintained its position in the main opposition.
SYRIZA's share of the vote, which was 20.07 percent in the May 2023 general elections, fell below 18 percent with the results on 25 June.