ATHENS – He won over the hearts and minds of enough SYRIZA voters to be elected the first openly gay leader of the battered Leftist party – and an American LGBTQ magazine thinks Stefanos Kasselakis could be Greece’s Premier.
To do that, Kasselakis, 35 – and a Capitalist – will have to unseat Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
He had praised Mitsotakis before saying he was the only one who could beat him, the next elections not scheduled until 2027 and Kasselakis now in charge of trying to pick up the pieces of a shattered party.
SYRIZA – now called the Progressive Alliance after being rebranded from the Radical Left – has only 47 seats in the 300-member Parliament and Kasselakis’ win is already bringing signs of a schism.
For all that, the monthly American news magazine Out praised the entrepreneur, who’s often seen posing with his husband Tyer McBeth, as likely to become the first gay man to lead Greece.
Noting SYRIZA is the major opposition, the magazine said his election in a surprise victory over former labor minister Effi Achtsioglou “means that Kasselakis has a pretty good chance of becoming the Prime Minister of Greece.”
The piece pointed to his background – antithetical to the former principles of the Leftists who had a decidedly anti-business hardcore nucleus stunned by his win – of working for the US financial firm Goldman Sachs.
He also was educated at the Ivy League University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business with degrees in finance and international relations and was a ship owner, a profession anathema to the Leftists.
That was a company called SwiftBulk, based in New York City, and with offices in Athens, Greece, and London, Kasselakis living most of his life in the United States before recently coming back to Greece where he was born.
“Now that he’s working in politics, Kasselakis has been calling for same-sex marriage to become legal in Greece,” the news site said, although he hasn’t revealed any details about his platform.