Euklid Tasakalotos was sworn in on Monday evening as the new Greek finance minister. In his first official statement he said the message from Sunday’s referendum will stay in the collective memory of Europe and beyond.
This people, despite the situation at the banks, despite the bias of the media and the institutions and the pressures at work, they resisted. This vote has class characteristics. Ordinary people said they want to trust this government for a viable solution,” Tsakalotos told journalists.
Who is Tsakalotos
An Oxford-educated economist, Roterdam born Tsakalotos (55) he has much in common with the political elite of Westminster, having attended St Paul’s school (as did George Osborne) before going on to read politics, philosophy and economics as an undergraduate. He later completed his PhD in economics from Oxford in 1989.
Tsakalotos has spent the best part of 30 years teaching economics in universities in Britain and Greece “engaging critically” with neoclassical economic thinking.
he has been a member of the governing party since his return to Greece in the 1990s and a member of the Greek parliament since May 2012.
Described as the “brains behind Syriza’s economic policy”, he has authored and co-authored six books, the most recent of which seeks to debunk the causes of Greece’s economic turmoil.
Will Tsakalotos be a good boy in Europe?
The news that Varoufakis was replaced were welcomed in Europe. But Tsakalotos is not likely to be the push over finance minister the lenders would like to deal with.
He is comes from the radical Marxist wing of Syriza, and in many respects he is more of a eurosceptic than his predecessor. .
Tsakalotos never wanted Greece to join the euro and in his own academic work has explored the issue of “first-mover advantage” after the rupture of the ERM currency pegs in 1990.
In common with many other prominent economists, Tsakalotos maintains the belief that Grexit would set off a political chain reaction and is therefore just as much a threat to the Eurozone Project as it is to Greece itself.
The crucial point is that the euro is an “irrevocable promise” that no country will ever devalue again. Once that is breached, financial markets will not lightly believe in the pledge again.