September 21, 2023
He is young, just 35 year old. And good looking: tall, well-built, with perfectly shining teeth and a bright, innocent looking smile. He looks at you straight with his blue eyes. Stefanos Kasselakis, the aspiring leader of left-wing SYRIZA, came out of the blue, from the other side of the big pond, the Atlantic. “A diaspora Greek,” as he describes himself.
A brain gain of a different kind: a wanna-be politician with no relevant experience wants to be leader of Greece’s main opposition party. A Democrats-admirer imported from the USA, owner of a shipping company, former employer at the Goldman Sachs with studies in USA colleges and universities.
He is not the kind of politicians we know in Greece. Fairly unknown to the broader public including the SYRIZA voters, he was in the so-called “State Ballot” of SYRIZA in 2023 elections and he did not manage to get elected in the Parliament.
But he achieved in less than a month to become known across the country, with a strong presence in social media, and local reporters chasing every step of him.
A product of PR?
Not even the other “shining star” but ultimately the “fallen anger” of SYRIZA, Yanis Varoufakis, managed to achieve the non-stop promotion by the conservative Greek media and TV channels, even if they now focus on rather harmless life-style spectrum.
Then Stefanos Kasselakis represents a taboo in the conservative Greek society: He has openly said that he is gay and has signed a civil partnership with his partner Tayler.
Pictures and videos of Kasselakis are being shown on TV and re-posted on websites from morning till the evening like a Greek version of the Polyanna series.
Kasselakis in the flood-areas, Kasselakis in burned forest of Evros, Kasselakis here and there, Kasselakis exiting the …gym.
He supplies the media with his images and footage and the media respond accordingly to the new “political product” that distracts from the real problems of the society.
In the flood-stricken areas in Central Greece , Kasselakis stirred with extensive muscle power a big wooden ladle in a deep cauldron full of stew in the open air kitchen of Allos Anthropos, a charity organization preparing meals for the needy in Metamorfosi village by Karditsa.
Summarizing his tour in the flooded area, he wrote that he saw a Greek flag on a wall dirty with mud and that he “asked the blessing from a 85-year-old local woman to be able to make good things for his country.”
Media frenzy get ridiculous
Kasselakis’ Stylish Choices – MEGA TV
Κasselakis and his partner return from the gym, while reporters ask if they had “fitness breakfast.” – SKAI TV.
Kasselakis’s relative (former ND MP) in interview – MEGA TV
This is Kasselakis mother-in law – in.gr
The media frenzy around the potential new leader of the main opposition has gone so far that they invite every real and unreal relatives to speak about the sunny boy with the ambition to become one day the prime minister of Greece.
Among them was a TV channel that had an interview with a woman who was presented to be Kasselakis’ grandmother. When he complained that both his grannies were dead, the channel named the false granny “a distanced granny” and revealed that “her mother-in-law was sister of Kasselakis’ great grandfather.”
The “distanced grandson” choose to end the dispute there and concentrated on the 2. round of leadership elections on upcoming Sunday, September 24.
Heading to leadership elections without political program
He continues to go around and meet people, shake hands and take selfies with anyone who asks for and keeps posting or saying things that they lack political content, something or anything in common with the policies, values and ethics of the left-wing party, the actual descendant of the long history of the Left, the Communist and the Euro-communist struggle in Greece that has failed big and it looks as if it will keep failing and falling.
Kasselakis seems to be the New Apolitic Left of Greece, a left that will most likely will re-define itself as a party leaning to center-left.
What is striking to many SYRIZA supporters, especially the generations over 50, is the absence of political content in what he says and does.
Nothing. Nada. Silence.
The man who left Greece at 14 and returned from the USA to claim the leadership of a left party with long tradition has nothing political to say.
No slogan, no reference to history, no left-wing rhetoric of “social justice”, no well-known terms such as “left-wing” or even a soft “social-democracy.”
Deafening silence that has also made him target of attacks by fractions within SYRIZA, mostly those who support his main rival in the leadership race, Efi Achtzioglou, a Labor Minister under SYR gov’t 2015-2019.
A friend in her early 60’s was complaining after the 1st elections round that “our generation is not in Kasselakis target group.”Another one said she felt like “a political orphan” and a third one lashed out that “the man is a bubble, he has nothing politically substantial to say.”
But in the end, the PR Phenomenon Kasselakis managed to mobilize 40,000 people who rushed to register as new members and vote in the first round of leadership elections last Sunday.
Maybe that’ what young, progressive anti-systemic voters in the country want: an a-politic political party, call it left or whatever!?
Do younger Greeks want a superhero free of the weights of the past to lead the country out of the misery of the last 15 years?
PS If Kasselakis wins the elections, he will face a very serious problem: He will pe party leader but he won’t have a seat in the Greek Parliament until the next elections in the country.
We remind our readers that publication of articles on our site does not mean that we agree with what is written. Our policy is to publish anything which we consider of interest, so as to assist our readers in forming their opinions. Sometimes we even publish articles with which we totally disagree, since we believe it is important for our readers to be informed on as wide a spectrum of views as possible.