The modern left for progressive governance: Leader of the opposition party in Greece speaks at LSE

How can a party be afraid to listen to its members and expect to govern in the future?
- Stefanos Kasselakis
Stefanos Kasselakis 747 x 560
Professor Kevin Featherstone and Stefanos Kasselakis (left to right)

On Monday 19 February Stefanos Kasselakis, the leader of Greece’s main opposition party,SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance, spoke at an LSE Public Event hosted by the Hellenic Observatory. He addressed ongoing questions about the future direction of his party.

The conversation, chaired by Director of the Hellenic Observatory Professor Kevin Featherstone, delved into various aspects of SYRIZA’s strategy and ideological position, circling back to one question: how does a party of the left adapt and change in order to win power?

Kasselakis, in outlining his political identity and professional background, described himself as a progressive, but hedged against strict ideological labels such as socialist or Marxist. He emphasised the importance of focusing on clear policy goals rather than getting bogged down in ideological debates.

“I am all in favour of having a philosophical underpinning to what we do, but we also need to be able to articulate simple policies for social justice, for growth, for inclusion to people in a way that makes them feel a part of politics,” he said.

Under his leadership, Kasselakis aims to position SYRIZA as a party which advocates for open markets with robust regulation and strong labour rights. Specific policy objectives include strengthening the national defence, eliminating immunity for MPs, and investing in climate adaptation and housing outside of urban centres like Athens.

Regarding SYRIZA’s electoral strategy, Kasselakis stressed the need for reform within the party to remain relevant and competitive. He highlighted the importance of prioritising the voices of party members and voters over entrenched party structures and hierarchies. “How can a party be afraid to listen to its members and expect to govern in the future?” he asked.

The event concluded with an audience Q&A session, during which Kasselakis addressed questions on current political challenges in Greece and the electoral obstacles facing SYRIZA in the upcoming European elections.

A full recording of the event can be found on LSE’s Youtube channel: