A fresh-faced 35-year old expat Greek shipping investor, has made headline reading this week after he declared his intention to run for the leadership of Syriza, Greece’s main opposition party, becoming the fifth candidate to enter the race.
Stefanos Kasselakis submitted his candidacy in a letter to the Prefectural Committee of Chania, Crete on 28 August several days after he was rumoured to be preparing to enter the race.
Syriza members will elect a new leader 10 September and if necessary in a second round of voting on 16 September, among the declared candidates. Syriza’s leadership change comes after former Prime Minister and party founder, Alexis Tsipras, resigned after the leftist party’s defeat in two elections in May and June.
With a four-minute-20-second video and a 560-word text, Kasselakis launched his candidacy for the Syrzia leadership, bidding to step outside the narrow party geographic boundaries.
Kasselakis, who has lived and worked in the United States was a candidate for the Syriza party state-wide list in the general elections of 2023 but was not elected. According to Kasselakis’ CV, he also worked as a volunteer on the staff of then-Senator Joe Biden in the 2018.
He is positioning himself as a self-made man who supports social equality, the separation of church and state and the abolition of compulsory army service.
“I am aware that I have no political party experience. My experience is in work and social life. The candidacy I am now putting forward shows another path: From society [and] for society. Several generations have been lost. The time has come to build the Greek Dream that we so desperately need,” he said in a post on social media.
Kasselakis has not been highlighting details of his investment in Tiptree Marine, SwiftBulk and SwiftTanker — entities currently without ships.