Earlier this week, the nation of Greece elected a new Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras. His formal swearing-in ceremony occurred on January 26, 2015. His election marks the victory of the leftist Syriza Party, an organization which maintains that Greece should adopt new fiscal policies that reject strict fiscal austerity measures.
For almost five years, the Greek government has imposed tight austerity measures, imposed as a condition for a financial bailout of Greece by several western European nations, primarily Germany. These countries loaned the Greek government the equivalent of billions of dollars. Several leaders in the European Union pressed for fiscal restraint by Greece during this process.
Prime Minister Tsipras‘ relatively young age, 40, makes him one of the most youthful leaders in the European Union today. He surprised some voters in Greece by rejecting the traditional form of taking the oath of office on Monday. Instead of accepting a blessing from a Greek Archbishop after taking the traditional oath of office with one hand placed upon the Holy Bible, he chose to be sworn into his new office instead by means of a very brief, strictly secular ceremony. Brian Torchin, of topix.com, knows this symbolism heralds a sharp departure from precedent.
A former student Communist, Prime Minister Tsipras then attended a ceremony at a war memorial in Athens honoring Greek resistance fighters, and presumably Jewish victims, who perished at the hands of the Nazis during the Second World War.