Yiannis Baboulias

Yiannis Baboulias is a Balkan Investigative Reporting Network fellow

How did an ex-banker end up leading Greece’s Syriza party?

The past decade has not exactly been short of surprises in Greek politics. But even to seasoned observers, the election of Stefanos Kasselakis as the new leader of Syriza, Greece’s main opposition party, stands out as one of the strangest developments yet. A former banker now leads a party founded on an anti-banker platform A

Greece is erupting in anger after its train disaster

‘Message me when you get there.’ This phrase became a rallying cry when hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets across Greece this week, in protests sparked by the country’s deadliest train disaster which killed 57 people earlier this month. Anger against the government was palpable, with protesters shouting ‘murderers’ outside the parliament

Turkey’s president Erdogan faces his greatest crisis yet

President Erdogan’s aggressive foreign policy is what usually captures the attention of the international media, but it is at home where his biggest troubles now lie. Turkey’s currency, the lira, has tanked, hitting a record low of just over 13 lira to the dollar. Thousands of protesters will hit the streets in the coming days

Is Bosnia heading for war?

Is Bosnia and Herzegovina on the brink of war? Christian Schmidt, the UN’s high representative, has warned that the country is in imminent danger of breaking apart. The return of armed conflict is a ‘very real’ prospect, he has said. Schmidt has good reason to be alarmed. His warnings follow an announcement last month by

How Turkey is fuelling the Belarus-Poland migrant crisis

In the cold, damp forest lining the border between Poland and Belarus, thousands of refugees flown over from the Middle East have waiting to cross into the EU for days. Belarusian riot police are shoving them away from their gates and towards Poland, where only more forces await. The Belarusian dictator Alexander Lukashenko has recently

The Greek wildfires and the failings of the state

The wildfires raging across Greece for what is by now more than a week, show no sign of abating. High temperatures continue in what is the country’s worst heatwave in almost four decades. While no region of the country has been spared, the images coming from the northern part of Evia island are particularly striking.

In defence of Novak Djokovic

Why does no one like Novak Djokovic? If Roger Federer is the player that even non-tennis fans can’t help but fawn over, Djokovic has few admirers. The world number one smashed two racquets during his defeat to Pablo Carreno Busta in the semi-finals of the Tokyo Olympics yesterday. The game marked the end of Djokovic’s dream of achieving the Golden

Keir Starmer and the ‘Pasokification’ of Labour

As the Greek debt crisis took hold in the wake of the financial crash, there was one big political casualty. The main centre-left party PASOK — which had dominated Greek politics since the early eighties — collapsed, going from a comfortable 43.9 per cent of the vote to 13.2 per cent in 2012. A decade

Erdogan’s Covid crisis

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that the country will be heading into its first full lockdown. An early success story, this time last year Turkey was being hailed as a model for its swift actions that ensured the country saw a relatively small death-toll, relative to its size (39,000 people in Turkey have died so

What the St George’s Day bores get wrong

It’s St George’s day – a chance to celebrate England’s patron saint, and, for some sanctimonious characters, it’s also an opportunity to berate people by reminding them who St George really was. But there’s a problem with those determined to lecture others: they’re getting their facts wrong. In recent years, a peculiar narrative has taken

The free speech row tearing apart the tech community

Donald Trump’s Twitter suspension after the riot at the US Capitol made headlines around the world. What was less reported, however, was that as the then-President was suspended, so too were tens of thousands of right-wing accounts. Their social media refuge was Parler, another micro-blogging platform. Parler markets itself as a ‘free speech-focused and unbiased

The fall of Golden Dawn

Next week, the biggest Nazi-related trial since Nuremberg will come to a close. Following the murder of Greek musician Pavlos Fyssas by a member of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn seven years ago, the entire leadership and dozens of members were charged under counter-terrorism legislation with running an organised crime syndicate. The case file, which

Med alert: Greece and Turkey are in a battle for hegemony

No one should fool themselves about the nature of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s vision for Turkey. It’s an imperialist project that would see Turkey’s hegemony stretch from the Mediterranean Sea and Libya all the way to Iran. Erdogan’s plans for his country’s expansion are evident in the current stand-off in the eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and

Will the Hagia Sophia be a wake-up call to the west?

Turkey’s strongman president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced that the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia will become a mosque again, after 85 years as a museum and a designated Unesco World Heritage site. It will be the fifth church of the same name — all once symbols of the Eastern Roman Empire and priceless cultural

The burden of a glorious past

It often proves difficult to talk about modern Greece. Not just because of the relentless stream of news coming at us this past decade in relation to the crisis; but also because Greece, both its ancestry and its more recent passions, can mean quite different things to different people. It’s a history universally revered in

Approaching mild panic

For a brief moment in 2011, standing among thousands of people occupying Syntagma, the central square in Athens, it looked as though social media would change the world. A row of laptops set up next to the subway entrance became the beating heart of an anti-austerity movement that promised to go well beyond simple protest