Europe Economy

Bye, Yanis, hello Euclid. Can this man save Greece?

In spite of securing a resounding "No" vote, Greece's fiery finance minister Yanis Varoufakis stepped aside for the sake of helping out the country's vital reforms-for-rescue talks. And it is the coordinator of Greece's negotiating team, Euclid Tsakalotos, who has been named as his replacement, according to widespread media reports.

The appointment has been welcomed by market watchers as Tsakalotos is seen as one of the more "moderate" figures in Greece's radical left-wing Syriza government: He was drafted in to lead the talks in May after Varoufakis' controversial negotiating style antagonized creditors.

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Euclid Tsakalotos
Louisa Gouliamaki I AFP I Getty Images

Tsakalotos, an Oxford University educated economist who also serves as Deputy Foreign minister, has already forged relationships with the likes of European Central Bank Mario Draghi after meeting late last month and so is well-placed to pick up talks quickly, according to analysts.

"Varoufakis had become toxic and had to go. Tsakalotos has been a key part of the negotiating team. He is one of the most sensible/moderate figures in Syriza and his appointment would increase the chances for a sensible negotiation, and a positive outcome," said economist at ICBC Standard Bank, Demetrios Efstathiou.

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"Greece is at five minutes before midnight, and Tsipras' renewed confidence could lead to the irrational - a deal," he added.

As Greece faces a fresh round of talks with Tsakalotos after he is sworn on Monday, we take a look at his credentials.

Who is he?

Born in Rotterdam, Tsakalotos studied politics, philosophy and economics at the University of Oxford, the same degree as current U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

After graduating, he became a lecturer in economics at the University of Kent, in the south of the U.K. He later moved to Athens in the early 1990s to take up a teaching post there. He has also written and edited books on the Greek and euro zone debt crisis.

Background in politics

Tsakalotos was elected as a member of Greek parliament to the hard-left Syriza party in 2012. While still a staunch opponent of austerity, the minister said that his party is not anti-reform.

"I've always said for the last six years that the euro zone is in danger from the policies of austerity. When people are poor, when there are regional differences, when there are social inequalities, fixed exchange rate systems like the monetary union are always under pressure," Tsakalotos said, speaking to CNBC in February.

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"We're not a non-reformist party. We've said that we will take the reforms, the good ideas of the previous memorandum, we're going to add our own reform agenda, we're going to have prioritization, we're not populist, we've said we've got to start with our first priorities -responding to the humanitarian crisis," he said.

Will he make a difference?

Tsakalotos is thought to be a close ally of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and the soft-spoken economist is thought to be liked by officials representing the country's creditors and the "troika" of organizations – The European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund -- that make sure Greece is sticking to the terms of its loans.

"Not even the most charming negotiator will help to unlock the funds without Greece agreeing to implement the reforms demanded by its creditors," senior economist at IHS Global Insight, Diego Iscaro said of Tsakalotos, before his appointment as finance minister.