Meet the Greek Leader Who Sent Global Markets Reeling


The man behind much of Tuesday’s market selloff is a 37-year-old Greek named Alexi Tsipras, the leader of the Coalition for the Radical Left.

Alexis Tsipras

Louisa Gouliamaki | AFP | Getty Images

Left Coalition Party Leader, Alexis Tsipras


When handed the right to try and form a coalition government in Greece, he told the world that the Greek bailout agreement is “null and void” and should be abandoned.

This sent global markets reeling because he could potentially unleash a series of events that would force Greece to leave the euro zone.

Besides abandoning the bailout, Tsipras said he’d like to nationalize the banks permanently, restore all salaries and pensions to their previous higher levels and bring back collective bargaining rights.

It isn’t the first time Tsipras has said these things. But it’s the first time he’s been even close to a position of power to make it happen.

In an interview with CNBC back in September, he said many of the things he said Tuesday.

At the time, when asked what the solution to Greece’s problem was, he pointed straight at the requirements set out by the so-called troika — the International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and the European Central Bank .



Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
CNBC Anchor

“The solution,» he said, «is to be able to get out of the memorandum (the troika plan) and to be able to get rid of the destructive policy that is being implemented right now…I think the medicine they have given us is worse than the disease itself and I think it’s going to kill us.”

In order to receive more than 200 billion euros in long-term, low-interest loans, the troika has demanded that the Greece reduce its spending. The Greek government has responded by laying off thousands of government workers, cutting the salaries of those who are left, and cutting pensions to retirees. They’ve nullified collective bargaining agreements in an effort to get wages lower so that Greeks will be more competitive in the world economy.

Additionally they’ve raised taxes and fees on everything under the Greek sun. The moves have angered Greeks, and they demonstrated this in last weekend elections by punishing the parties that agreed to the troika’s requirements, and giving many more votes to Tsipra’s Coalition for the Radical Left.

In his CNBC interview, Tsipra said: “I think this will totally destroy the middle class. So I think that what is really needed is a plan which involves growth and I think fiscal consolidation can be achieved through other means. I think the rich should pay and not just the poor and middle class.”

Read the rest of this article here


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