Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras

Prime Minister of Greece
Date of Birth: 28.07.1974
Country: Greece

Alexis Tsipras: From Political Activist to Prime Minister

Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister of Greece, emerged onto the European political scene as a surprise to many. He is young, belongs to the radical left, leads a deliberately modest lifestyle, and openly declares his atheism, which is unusual in conservative Europe. The future of not only Greece but also European politics depends largely on his actions as the new Prime Minister. Alexis Tsipras was born in Athens on July 28, 1974, just four months after the fall of the military regime. His parents were Greek communists, and his older brother and sister also shared their views. Growing up, Tsipras was the darling of the family and had a strong passion for football. He supported the team "Panathinaikos" and played for his school's volleyball team. However, he was also actively involved in politics, following in the footsteps of his family. In 1987, he joined the youth wing of the Greek Communist Party, KNE. His classmate, Beti Basiana, who later became his wife, also joined the organization. Rumor has it that Beti played a significant role in his political activism. In 1991, Tsipras appeared on television criticizing a new education law proposed by the Minister Kontogiannopoulos. After completing high school, Tsipras studied civil engineering at the Polytechnic University of Athens. Beti Basiana pursued a degree in Electronic and Computer Engineering at the same university. Tsipras did not stop his political activism during this time; he actively participated in the student union and the university senate and was elected to the Central Committee of the National Union of Greek Students. In 1999, he became the political secretary of the youth wing of the political party "Synaspismos," which was formed as an alliance of left-wing forces in Greece and was part of the left-wing coalition "SYRIZA," the largest opposition movement of the left. In 2000, after receiving his diploma, Tsipras continued his studies as a postgraduate student at the Polytechnic University and wrote several papers on urban planning in Athens. According to Tsipras, during this time, he also worked as a private entrepreneur with his cousin and later opened his own construction office. However, undoubtedly, his political activities were much more significant at that time. Tsipras actively prepared the Social Forum of Greece and participated in the protest movement against neoliberalism and globalization. In December 2004, Tsipras became a member of the Central Committee of "Synaspismos" and also served as secretary for youth and education. Two years later, Tsipras ran for mayor of Athens as part of the "Open City" list of the "SYRIZA" coalition. He received just over 10% of the votes, coming in third after candidates from the Socialist Party "PASOK" and the right-wing "People's Democracy." Tsipras took a position in the municipality of the Greek capital and did not run for parliament in the 2007 elections. By this time, he was already married to Beti Basiana. The couple did not have an official or religious wedding ceremony; they simply had a legal contract and lived in a regular apartment in the Kypseli neighborhood of Athens. Beti still avoids publicity and dresses modestly. They now have two sons, Fev-Pavel and Orpheus-Ernesto (the latter named after their idol, Che Guevara). Despite not baptizing their children, the entire family occasionally participates in traditional Christian ceremonies. In 2008, Alexis Tsipras was elected leader of the "Synaspismos" party by a large majority of votes and joined the Central Committee. He then became the leader of the "SYRIZA" coalition. In 2009, he ran for parliament and was elected as a member for the electoral district of Athens, later becoming the leader of the parliamentary group. In 2010, Greece's economic situation began to deteriorate rapidly. The country relied on financial support from the EU, which insisted on the government implementing severe austerity measures. Attempts to introduce these measures led to increased protests in the electorate, resulting in the rise of left-wing parties opposing the policy of harsh cuts. In June 2010, Tsipras was elected head of the "SYRIZA" coalition, and in 2012, his political party achieved a sensational success in the parliamentary elections, becoming the main opposition faction in parliament, with Tsipras becoming the leader of the parliamentary opposition. As a result, in December 2013, he was nominated as a candidate for the President of the European Commission by the European Left. Tsipras campaigned in many European countries, harshly criticizing the austerity measures caused by the neoliberal policies of the EU and calling for social protection for the unemployed and those affected by the crisis. During the televised debates among the five candidates for the position of the President of the European Commission, Tsipras had the highest number of tweets on Twitter. Meanwhile, negative economic trends in Greece continued to worsen. The national debt had reached 150% of GDP, unemployment stood at 25%, and there was a significant decline in production. In this context, early parliamentary elections were announced, in which the "SYRIZA" faction led by Tsipras won a decisive victory. One of the first surprises after his election as the new head of government was his refusal to take the traditional oath on the Bible, instead opting for a civil oath to the President of the country. Shortly after the elections, a division emerged within "SYRIZA," with some members advocating for Greece's exit from the EU and the creation of a parallel payment system. For now, the new Prime Minister is implementing the necessary reforms to restructure the national debt and continue cooperation with the EU to secure a new three-year financial assistance package.

Alexis Tsipras

© BIOGRAPHS