Giorgos Stathakis: SYRIZA's soft power

Giorgos Stathakis: SYRIZA's soft power

A recent report from J P Morgan, see a very real possibility that SYRIZA will resoundingly win the next elections, and one of the key figures within the party is Giorgos Stathakis.

Euthimis Tsiliopoulos
ΓΡΑΦΕΙ: EUTHIMIS TSILIOPOULOS

A recent report from J P Morgan, see a very real possibility that SYRIZA will resoundingly win the next elections, and one of the key figures within the party is Giorgos Stathakis.

Giorgos Stathakis is a veteran of the political scene of the Greek left hailing from the Communist party (KKE). The atmosphere was a bit heavy there for the cosmopolitan Cretan. After the break up of Synaspismos he followed “Left Current” until its break-up.

He is professor of economics at the University of Crete and is one of main opposition SYRIZA's economic analysts. For many pundits, he will be one of those people that will be called to undertake one of the main ministries in a future cabinet, should SYRIZA come to power.

Meanwhile, though, Giorgos Stathakis manages to irk many SYRIZA cadres and supporters. He has been decried as always appearing in media as if talking to prospective voters, explaining “technical” details, rounding off corners, and avoiding inflammatory rhetoric used by other cadres including SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras.

he is so valuable that if he didn't exist he would have to be invented

Born in a well-off family at Chania, in 1953, he didn't choose to follow in his father's footsteps in the maritime sector, something which his bother did. In 1971, during the Junta he moved to Athens to study in the economics faculty of the Athens law school. The fact that he chose the university upset the Kydonas basketball team that was grooming the tall physical fit youth for future sports stardom. At university, he immediately became embroiled in the struggle against the dictatorship, before going to the University of Newcastle upon Tyne to get a Ph.D.

His dissertation entitled “Industrial Development and the Regional Problem: the Case of Greece,” is indicative of his focus of interests, as are the courses he teaches at the university: marxist analysis, and economic methodology.

He is one of those people within SYRIZA, whose moderation and calm are seen as projecting a positive image of the party, something which has prompted Alexis Tsipras to say that he is so valuable that if he didn't exist he would have to be invented.

His students and friends note that he is charismatic and one of those figures that acts to dampen fears about SYRIZA and the Greek left among middle class voters. His calm demeanor allowed him to easily ride out the hullabaloo caused when it was found through his parliamentary ways and means statement that he was in fact wealthy. His comments that wealth does not characterize ideas managed to anger some of his comrades in the party, but even this quickly died down.

As is, Giorgos Stathakis, has become one of the main opposition's assets and will play a key role, not just the day after, but even more so in preparing SYRIZA for power.

Photo: Eurokinissi/Christos Bonis

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