Excerpt below interesting for the background on Syriza, Tsipras & his confidantes
Born in 1974 a few days after Greece's return to democracy following seven years of military dictatorship, Tsipras joined the youth branch of the Communist Party when he was just 14. Three years later he moved to a more liberal-minded splinter group that would later be renamed Syriza.
Until a renovation a few months ago, a portrait of Che Guevara hung outside Tsipras' office in Syriza headquarters in Athens. ( So, there is NO portrait of Che Guevara in his office) "At 16, I read Marx and believed capitalism would end and we would go to the next stage of society, which is socialism. To me, this was absolute," he said in a 2008 interview with student paper Schooligans. "I was wrong. Now I know it's not absolute. It may happen, but it may not."
Tsipras rose through Syriza's ranks swiftly. As head of the party's youth wing he "was a good manager of daily issues but didn't give the impression he would be a great leader," said an older Syriza member who has known Tsipras since he was a teenager.
Nevertheless, party president Alekos Alavanos picked him as a candidate in the 2006 race to be mayor of Athens. With youth and sincerity on his side, Tsipras unexpectedly received 10.5 percent of the vote – not enough to win, but a massive gain for what was still a tiny party.
"Alavanos catapulted him to the top. He really fought with others in the party to establish him because he believed Alexis was the only hope for the (Left) Coalition," said the former Syriza member, referring to a forerunner of the party.Anyone have any information on Alekos Alavanos? Who is he? What is he involved in?
Why did he back Tsipras so strongly, only to leave the party? Forming a party advocating a Greek exit from the Euro?
At 33, Tsipras was president of the party, the youngest political leader in the history of modern Greece. By 40, with no experience of national government, he was prime minister, elected on the promise of ending austerity but keeping Greece in the euro zone.Inner circle
Even his mentor did not think the promise stacked up. Alavanos, now 65, left Syriza years ago and heads a small party that advocates Greece's exit from the euro zone. He has never publicly discussed Tsipras and refused to comment on their relationship for this story. But he did criticise the idea that Greece can stay in the euro and not implement austerity. "Basic intelligence dictates this is impossible," Alavanos said.
Like the prime minister, Tsipras' team of close advisers had little experience of government or international politics. In large part, members of his inner circle are trusted friends of a similar ideology and age.His inner circle is compromised of persons who do not live in Greece- How would they be 'trusted friends'? An economist from Scotland Nikos Pappas. A British trained economist Yanis Varoufakis.
His closest confidant is Minister of State Nikos Pappas, two years his junior. Pappas, an economist, was living in Scotland with no plans to return to Greece when Tsipras asked him to join him in 2008.Varoufakis has 'international connections' To who? To what?
Tsipras also brought in British-trained economist Yanis Varoufakis, who had been an academic in Britain, Australia and the United States. He offered a way to build bridges with Europe and the United States. "(Tsipras) took him in because he broke some barriers for us," said a Syriza insider. "He was recognisable and he had international connections."
But Varoufakis was also radical and outspoken. Appointed finance minister after Syriza won power in January, he proved to be less bridge builder and more destroyer as he negotiated with international lenders. He angered many in Europe with his blunt rhetoric and unorthodox ideas. Even Tsipras was shocked to hear about a Varoufakis' plan to recruit average Greeks and tourists to act as tax inspectors, insiders said.
As negotiations floundered, these two key figures in the Greek government went in different directions. Varoufakis, who would not speak for this story, eventually quit, saying he felt Tsipras was ready to reach a deal with Greece's creditors at any price.
In all the turmoil, Tsipras also had two confidants of a different nature. One was Minister of State Alekos Flambouraris, who had worked with Tsipras' late father in the construction industry. People close to Tsipras say the 73-year-old Flambouraris offers emotional support as his leader tries to balance party, country and principles.
Tsipras' inner team started to discuss the idea of a referendum in April, as it became increasingly clear Greece's creditors would not budge on their austerity demands. Their aim was to use a vote on the EU's bailout terms as a way to entrench the prime minister as the dominant political figure in Greece, rally public support around him and give him leverage with lenders, insiders say.
The idea of the referendum was really to create a massive PR campaign around Tsipras in order to manipulate the Greek public into believing he was 'their man". Their saviour. Very devious.
The cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as "charismatic authority"
Today the Greeks are 'rewarded' to huge price increase on everything. And their saviour, Tsipras, showed his true nature- That of the betrayer & destroyer.
The tax increases, from 13 to 23 per cent, will also apply to products and services such as processed foods and drinks and dishes served in restaurants and bars.
A sharp increase in consumer taxes on many Greek islands is also set to take effect on Monday.
The tax increases are forecast to bring in $US867 million ($1.1billion) by year-end, Greek financial media said.