That’s indeed a “revolutionary start” if it will be confirmed to be true: Elections winner and new Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will not follow the good old Greek tradition of taking his oath as Prime Minister in the presence of the Archbishop of Greece and get the blessing of the Greek Orthodox Church. He will take a political oath, instead, Greek media report.
For this purpose Alexis Tsipras will meet with Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos, at 2:30 pm, even before he meets with President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias to officially receive the assignment to form a government.
Alexis Tsipras will meet with Papoulias at 3:30 pm, he will take the oath of Prime Minister at 4 pm Monday.
However, the swear-in of the new cabinet will be in the presence of Church representatives. The ministers of the new coalition government will still have the option to take a religious oath, if they wish to. Left-wing SYRIZA can certainly not prevent the conservatives of Independent Greeks to take a religious oath, apart from the fact that several SYRIZA ministers may want to take a religious oath.
The new cabinet will swear-in either Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday.
Alexis Tsipras has described himself as atheist. He drew criticism when he visited the Monk Republic of Agio Oros (Mount Athos), had meτ with Archbishop Ieronymos on several occasions.
Tsipras 0 Archbishop Ieronymos
It didn’t need a lot of explanation to see that Tsipras was making an opening to conservative and religious Greeks ahead of the upcoming elections.
As I write this post, the issue of the political oath is not officially confirmed but is based on media information. Of course, journalists wonder if it’s not for the political oath, what’s the purpose of Tsipras to meet with Archbishop Ieronymos before he meets the President.
UPDATE: Alexis Tsipras was indeed sworn-in with political oath at 4 pm Monday. He said:
“I declare in my name, my honor and my conscience to obey the Constitution and the laws.”
More on PM Tsipras sworn-in ceremony here
PS in Greek courts, one has the option of taking a religious or a political oath.
Whether one agrees with its doctrines or not, it is a huge part of Greek life and wields a lot of power. It is important to meet with them in order to insure the best possible collaboration/relationship. One can still work together (if one chooses to) even if one does not share ideological beliefs, no?
Personally I’m impressed on many levels.