Athens: Greece’s new finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos is as discreet and tight-lipped as his predecessor Yanis Varoufakis was flamboyant and confrontational.
Tsakalotos, a 55-year-old leftist economist who had been a pointsman in Greece’s bailout talks, was named as Varoufakis’ replacement hours after his resignation on Monday. He is far less likely to irritate Athens’ exasperated creditors.
The Dutch-born, Oxford-educated economics professor and junior foreign minister had already taken over as the main negotiator in the bailout talks in April after it became clear Varoufakis was badly ruffling feathers and creating bad blood.
Born in Rotterdam, the married father-of-three taught economics at Kent University in Britain between 1990 and 1993 before relocating to Athens.
He was subsequently based at the Athens University of Economics from 1994 to 2010 before moving to the capital’s National University.
He was first elected to parliament with the hard-left Syriza party in 2012, and re-elected in January when they came to power.
Tsakalotos has six books to his name, the latest titled ‘No Return: capitalist crises, social needs, socialism’.
“The climate with Varoufakis was so poisoned that it was impossible to move forward,” said an Athens-based economist, speaking on condition of anonymity.
“Tsakalotos has a more low-key profile. At this stage it will be a considerable improvement.”