Profile: Alexis Tsipras

Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza. Picture: AP
Alexis Tsipras, head of Syriza. Picture: AP
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BORN four days after the fall of Greece’s military dictatorship in 1974, Alexis Tsipras, 37, is the head of the Radical Left Coalition in Greece (Syriza).

He became the elected president of Syriza in 2008 and was elected to parliament three years ago. He is the youngest ever head of a Greek parliamentary political party.

Even though he only became the president of the party four years ago, he has had a strong political background for several years. His political career began in the late 1980s when he joined the Communist Youth of Greece, with partner, Peristera Baziana, who he met in 1987 at the Ampelokipoi Branch High School. The couple have one son and are expecting another in July.

He later became the first person ever to hold the leading position of political secretary of the youth wing of Synaspismos, from May 1999 to November 2003. Tsipras became responsible for educational and youth issues in December 2004, at the 4th Congress of Synaspismos, where he was elected as a member of the party’s Central Political Committee.

He entered the limelight of mainstream Greek politics in the 2006 Athens local election, where he gained 10.51% in the Mayoral Race.

In Sunday’s election, his party received 15.8% of the vote, making them the second largest party in Greece.The Greek politician said this result gives him the power to cancel the austerity programs the International Monetary Fund and the European Union mandated as part of their bailout of the country.