Tests of leadership

Only real life can test if a politician really has what it takes to lead a nation. Six months after he was elected prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis was called upon to tackle two major crises: the first one was the exploitation of migrants and refugees by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan; the second was the coronavirus outbreak.

They were both unexpected and fully fledged crises, in the sense that there was no textbook response to them.

Mitsotakis was widely seen as the nerdy technocrat type. It is highly likely that he studied, even better than the experts did, the measures that South Korea or Singapore took in order to stem the spread of the virus. Seen against the Greek political culture of "charismatic" leaders, Mitsotakis' reaction might seem something of an oddity. It would perhaps be so if it were not accompanied by the imposition of swift -...

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