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Βασίλειος (Βασίλης) Λεβέντης
|Leader of the Union of Centrists|
|Assumed office |
2 March 1992
|Member of the Hellenic Parliament|
for Athens B
|Assumed office |
20 September 2015
|Born||2 November 1951|
Messini, Messinia, Greece
|Political party||PASOK (1974–1981)|
New Democracy (1989)
Union of Centrists
|Alma mater||National Technical University of Athens|
Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
|Years of service||1975–1978|
Vassilis Leventis (Greek: Βασίλειος (Βασίλης) Λεβέντης, Greek pronunciation: [vaˌsiʎos vaˌsilis leˈvendis]; born 1951 in Messene, Messenia) is a Greek politician, leader of the Greek centrist party, Union of Centrists (Ένωση Κεντρώων).
Vassilis Leventis is the fourth child of Apostolos and Gregoria Leventis who were originally from Korakovouni, a small village in Arcadia. The Leventis family moved to Piraeus where Vassilis Leventis graduated from high school and in 1969 he was admitted as the 6th highest ranking candidate, to the Civil Engineering department of the National Technical University of Athens. During the '70s he ventured into discography, him self funding and producing a one time record.
His first involvement with politics occurred in 1975 when, as an assistant of the then dean of the Athens Polytechnic University, Kyprianos Biris, he contributed in composing articles 21 and 24 of the Greek Constitution and also participated in forming the DEPOS project.
He is fluent in German and has adequate understanding of the English language. 
Vassilis Leventis started his political career in 1974 as a founding father and later MP candidate of PASOK. After 1981, he expressed many disagreements with the party, blaming it for a divergence from its original views. In 1982, he was a candidate for mayor of Pireaus.
In 1984, he founded the first ecological party in Greece, which participated in the European Elections of the same year, gaining only the 0.15% of the vote.
In 1986, he nominated himself for mayor of Athens gaining a 0.57% of the vote.
In the Greek elections of 1989 he was a MP candidate with the New Democracy party, but failed to elect.
In a 1992 congress he decided to found the Union of Centrists, which strove to become "the political continuance of the centrist expression in Greece". Leventis aimed to become part of the legacy of some great politicians of the past, such as Eleftherios Venizelos and George Papandreou, senior. However, until 2015, the party's influence was marginal, with 1.79% of the total vote in the Greek legislative election, January 2015 and no MPs being its highest achievement. In the Greek legislative election, September 2015 the party cleared the 3% hurdle for representation in the Greek Parliament with 9 MPs after it won 186,457 votes (3.43%).
Vasilis Leventis expresses his political opinion through his Antidiaplokí (Αντιδιαπλοκή, anticorruption) quarterly newspaper and his TV show that has been hosted in several stations so far, such as PellaTV and Extra Channel.
His views are placed in the centre of the political spectrum with particular emphasis on policies that are "rational", transparent, squarely opposed to corruption, in favour of the weaker social classes (workers, pensioners, farmers, single parents, etc.), hostile to the concentration of power in just a few individuals and reform of the Greek political life.
Leventis himself is unreservedly and nearly polemically critical of mainstream Greek political parties and their leaders. He asserts that Greek politicians are in league with big business interests who control the mainstream media and as a result of this criticism he has been deliberately excluded from publicity, which in his opinion, is the factor that has caused his party to exist only in the margins of Greek politics. His frequent use of expletives and his animated style of speaking have led him often to be the object of jokes at his expense, but have also elevated some snippets of his TV shows to cult status.
Leventis proposes the cutting of double and triple pensions, to cut the pensions of those who have an income of 3.000 euro from other sources, to fire the 1.500 officials of the Parliament and the public workers who do not do their job.
Vassilis Leventis's general public acknowledgment has risen during 2014 and 2015 due to a viral video montage, following his so-called "prophecies", that accurately predict Greece's current financial crisis, from as early as 1993.
Citations and notes
- "Greek Elections: New Poll Shows Slight New Democracy Lead Over SYRIZA". GreekReporter. 3 September 2015.
- on YouTube