Kasselakis: "I stand by the vulnerable and those who embraced me, propelled me"

SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Stefanos Kasselakis

SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance leader Stefanos Kasselakis noted the fact that 2023 was a electoral year, during which the party lost two national elections, speaking at the 27th Annual Economist Government Roundtable in Athens on Thursday.

The main opposition party leader added that Syriza "was hoping to lead a progressive coalition government," while the electoral result was "a resounding victory for [Prime Minister Kyriakos] Mitsotakis, only two months after the tragic train collision which killed 57 people, mostly youths returning to university after a long weekend."

Referring extensively to former party leader and former prime minister Alexis Tsipras, Kasselakis noted that Tsipras "was the reason many of us, including myself, came to SYRIZA."

Continuing on Tsipras, he added that "he opened up Syriza to the progressive 'centre', took the country out of three severe austerity packages, while keeping the 'social safety net' intact."

And all this, he added, "while protecting the country's national security interests, and resolving a long-standing European issue in our north, between Greece and now North Macedonia."

Speaking about his own trajectory, he said that "two months after Alexis decided to leave, I announced my candidacy to succeed him."

"I was not a party member, nor did I fit the profile of the traditional Left - [coming] from employment at Goldman Sachs, and being a former businessman and shipping executive."

"But elected I was," he noted, "by a wide margin, as an 'underdog' in the [leadership] race, one which won in working-class neighborhoods and rural areas alike.

And this, he noted, "is the most characteristic part of my position today: that those who remained outside the so-called system, saw in me a modern fighter, not only for their own interests, but for the collective future of the country."

"I aspire to be the next prime minister of the country for all Greeks - domestically and internationally - but my faith is above all in the people who embraced me and propelled me," he pointed out.

Finally, Kasselakis underlined that he will be on the side of the people "struggling to pay their electricity bills, who yearn for their children to return to Greece, who are buried in piles of mud after the recent floods and with negligible state support."

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024