Youthful rebel targets Greek establishment
Derek Gatopoulos - The Associated Press
This Tuesday, May 8, 2012 file photo shows Greek leader of Coalition of the Radical Left party, SYRIZA, Alexis Tsipras lduring a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, on taking the mandate to form a coalition government in Athens. The extreme left-wing Tsipras believes the budget-cutting imposed on Greece, which is suffering through its fifth year of recession and an unemployment rate nearly 22 percent, should be cancelled. Global financial markets are on tenterhooks over a possible victory by the tough-talking 37-year-old, who dresses casually and has a portrait of the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara on his office wall. His radical agenda scares even many Europeans who have railed against austerity. And if he's given the power to carry it out, Greece may soon find itself kicked out of the euro common currency.
During high school, he took part in a three-month student protest against education reform that shook the conservative government of the time in the early 1990s, appearing on television as a confident 16-year-old spokesman for the protest movement.
Two decades later, he's rattling Europe and the world economy as he campaigns to become Greece's next leader with a simple if startling pledge: to tear up a multibillion-euro international agreement that bailed out Greece as it hurtled toward bankruptcy.
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