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Profile: Alexis Tsipras

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Profile: Alexis Tsipras


Alexis Tsipras rose to political stardom as the crisis in Greece blew apart the bipartisan system that had been in place for decades.

Born in 1974, Tsipras trained as a civil engineer.

The election trail

He entered parliament in 2009 at the head of the radical left Syriza party. It had won 4.6 percent of the vote. The entry threshold is three percent. Tsipras positioned himself against the bailout conditions imposed externally on Greece.

Tsipras assumed the political role of king-maker after coming in second place in the elections of May 2012.

In a second poll in June of that year, Syriza increased its share of the vote to just under 27 percent. Tsipras became the only politician to manage to give Greeks hope in the future.

The municipal and European elections of 2014 were also a success, with Syriza steadily closing the gap on the country’s leading conservatives in the polls.

Life for ordinary Greeks

By this time, ordinary Greeks living under draconian austerity policies had lost 40% of their incomes, unemployment stood officially at 27 percent and the national debt stood at 177 percent of GDP.

On coming to power in January 2015, Syriza proposed a programme it said was non-negotiable.

But at the same time, Tsipras no longer said debt reimbursement must stop at once. He stopped calling for banks to be nationalised and privatisations to be reversed.

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