Alexis Tsipras: Coming full circle in seven years

"I can't believe we came in second," Alexis Tsipras told an associate on May 6, 2012, as he walked into SYRIZA's headquarters at Koumoundourou Square in downtown Athens. Seven years and 20 days later, on May 26, 2019, the party came full circle. Again, he couldn't believe they came second.

Those two electoral milestones mark "the seven Tsipras years," a period during which his political career was marked by a string of contradictions - deeply divisive rhetoric coming from a smiling face; social sensitivity blunted by Soviet-style callousness, most evident in the reaction to last summer's devastating fires; quixotic aggression against "Madame Merkel" in 2015; and bare realpolitik under German Chancellor Angela Merkel's aegis over the Prespes name deal in 2018.

This bizarre seven-year period stems from a political career that took 25 years to develop, starting in 1988...

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