This Man Will Guide Greece Into Uncharted Territory

Meet Euclid Tsakalotos, the country's new finance minister
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 6, 2015 12:56 PM CDT
Euclid Tsakalotos is shown.   (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias, File)
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(Newser) – The Greek government has named Euclid Tsakalotos as the country's new finance minister, a day ahead of an emergency meeting with creditors in Brussels. The 55-year-old economist was Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' lead bailout negotiator in talks that halted last month before Tsipras called for yesterday's referendum. Tsakalotos replaces fellow economist Yanis Varoufakis, who quit earlier today, saying his departure would help bailout negotiations reach an agreement. How the news is being received, and how Tsakalotos is being described:

  • Business Insider: "Tsakalotos is an Oxford-educated university professor, and has been described as the 'big brain' of economic policy' for Greece's Syriza government."

  • CNBC: "Tsakalotos ... has already forged relationships with the likes of European Central Bank Mario Draghi after meeting late last month and so is well-placed to pick up talks quickly, according to analysts."
  • Guardian (June 18 article): "Phlegmatic, professorial, mild-mannered, Tsakalotos has spent the best part of 30 years in the ivory towers of Britain and Greece 'engaging critically' with neoclassical economic thinking. No other training could have prepared him better for his role as the point man. ... 'The fact that he also sounds like an aristocrat helps too,' said an insider in the Syriza party."
  • Bloomberg: "Though Tsakalotos's button-downed style may help endear him to creditors, he's still a ... harsh critic of European austerity. ... The new minister’s likely approach to talks can be divined from [his] most recent book. ...It criticized 'permanent austerity' and argued that Syriza represents a model for other European countries to emulate. The book was endorsed, among others, by Varoufakis."

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