Rarely on a Saturday does an event attract the interest of so many as this one did earlier today at the Old Theatre, Old Building, of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). This is the 3rd event of its kind allowing participants in active policy suggestions that will affect the future of Greece and the European Union particularly after six years of austerity and a recent change of government, following a snap election in late January down in Greece – a very big mistake in our view and no excuses at all for this are allowed to be “aired” by those currently in power and the ND-PASOK alliance whose failed policies triggered this election, as chaos and uncertainty is now the name of the game… Aspects of Macro and Microeconomics as well as successful business model examples where also presented and discussed.
The recent snap elections in Greece and the rise to power of SYRIZA, a radical-left party, and its coalition with ANEL have reignited the danger of a GREXIT accident, while the country is negotiating with its institutional partners (European Commission, ECB, and IMF).
The 3rd Annual Forum examined the required structural reforms that Greek economy needs from a normative perspective. Experts from the private and public sector discussed and presented in detail different policy aspects of Macroeconomics, Banking, Entrepreneurship, and Foreign Policy.
The purpose of this event is to create a Forum for interested LSE students and faculty, as well as members of the public, to exchange ideas and ultimately, as we stress at the end of this reporting, to formulate a Working Paper to be distributed to the Greek Ministry of Finance, European Commission, the ECB, the IMF and the world’s media. The people around the world have a right to know!
The Opening Welcome Remarks by Theodoros Kalampokis, LSE SU Hellenic Society President, were simple and to the point.
Then at the podium come for the Opening Speech H.E. Mr Konstantinos Bikas, the Greek Ambassador to the United Kingdom, always eloquent and as a legal master too, to the point! His fourteen minutes speech created the right atmosphere for what followed.
The three sessions which followed had excellent themes and panellists and where excellently moderated by presenter Costantinos Bogdanos, a fellow journalist from SKAI TV (SKY TV) in Athens, with the first one being “Macroeconomic Reform”.
Dr. Panicos Demetriades on “Banks, Growth, and Uncertainty” was the first speaker. Demetriades a Professor of Financial Economics, at Leicester University and Former Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus had simple slides to express his view and easy to digest. His Message in a Nutshell with a respective slide was widely discussed: A well-functioning financial system can help promote economic growth; well managed banks are able to select the most productive investment projects; well regulated banks are adequately capitalised and are able to raise funding in deposit and money markets and finance long-term investment; financial depth (measured by liquid liabilities / GDP) matters for growth but it also poses a risk: Too big to fail and too big to save; widespread consensus after crisis that we need sustainable financial development; financial stability, efficiency and access are new facets of financial markets; uncertainty erodes the link between finance and growth with banks fragile environment… Excellent!
Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis turn with: “New Industrial Policy and Greece’s New Policy Space”, a well construed speech with excellent slides too. Monastiriotis, an Associate Professor of Political Economy, European Institute, London School of Economics left us with a dilemma on his “The Trilemma of SYRIZA” slide.
Our well known Dr. Miranda Xafa presented us with her paper on: “From Grecovery to Grexit?” with very well built-up slides and accurate info! Xafa a Senior Scholar, Centre for International Governance Innovation and Former Board Member, IMF was warmly applauded by the audience, women in particular who formed the largest group; after all she’s well known from speaking out!
More than fifteen questions, inter-panel ones too where appropriately replied and debated, but cut short for lunch break with the promise from Bogdanos to continue…
The lunch break was a great opportunity not only for networking but also to meet the friends from the past, organisers, students, lecturers and speakers from other universities too and listen to their views on the first session and for the situation prevailing in Greece and Europe.
Punctuality, vis-à-vis keeping the time, as Bogdanos mentioned is indeed the name of the game and time now for real Success Stories that our countrymen world-wide offer…in abundance !
Mr. Nikos Drandakis’ “Fixing a failed market” was a real treat given what we experience from TAXI drivers and various taxi-services worldwide. Drandakis, Founder & CEO, Taxibeat did an excellent presentation provoking equally powerful questions; fully recommending and endorsing his idea. We did hinted we have a shipping application too for him to work with our media company Fx2MM.
Young Mr. Stylianos Lambrou’s: “Innovative Reaction to Crisis” and his start-ups a very promising idea from which many could benefit. A big bravo! Stylianos, as his likes to be called, an Entrepreneur & Co-founder, Heart Cyprus & Social Airways, attracted quite an interesting round of questions and we are sure more successful ideas will come and start-up… With his vigour, persistence and methodology everything is possible!
Bogdanos whilst introducing Kristina Tremonti mentioned how they outside the toilets in an Athenian café. Kristina Marie Tremonti …come through the bathroom window as the Beatles have said:“Thinking Differently About Corruption” the Founder & Director, EdosaFakelaki.org Kristina is making headlines not just in Greece but abroad too. She tackles in the best possible way an endemic from which the Greek public suffers for over fifty years and lately is taking cancerous status. Bravo Kristina! Time now to tackle the big hooligans who ask for millions for favours and have brought Greece at a standstill; yes you read correct; at a standstill! A very well thought / issue that Constantinos Bogdanos must be congratulated in bringing Kristina over to London and address this pathetic and despicable issue! FYI, when asked she put this to the One Billion Euro per year… EDOSA FAKELAKI. Log on and see for yourself!!! Excellent!
A very stimulating coffee break Coffee Break time for more heavy weights to join in on the Microeconomic Reforms session/panel.
Mr George Cambanis’: “GREFORM: Pillars of Competitiveness” was food for thought and we hope to bring you soon his entire presentation. Cambanis, a Senior Partner and Global Leader Shipping & Ports, Deloitte Greece, was the man-to-watch given the main orientation of this medium and in particular for possible risks looming in the background, until, and hopefully this mess ends in Greece…
He was followed by Dr Pavlos Eleftheriadis with his monumental presentation on “Justice and Trust at a Time of Crisis”. Eleftheriades, an Associate Professor of Law & Fellow, Mansfield College, University of Oxford, Barrister in England and Wales, practises in EU law from the Francis Taylor Building, is well know from his positions on the Philosophy of law, a very unique subject, as well as European Union Law. We are certain, that if he pursues further his political aspirations he will be definitely elected to the Greek and or European Parliaments!
Lastly we had the pleasure to listen to the poetic Mr George Taniskidis on: “Growth: A Simple Approach”. Taniskidis, currently President of Core Capital Partners and Former Chairman & Managing Director, Millennium Bank gave a very passionate speech supported by excellent slide. The first ever speaker to emphasise where Greece and the Greeks marvel: Shipping and Tourism!
We anticipate that the organisers now that the event is over will asap formulate a Working Paper and forward same to the Greek Ministry of Finance, the European Commission, the ECB, and the IMF. A very well thought procedure and we will follow same as well as ensure it receives the appropriate response!!!
Kathimerini newspaper was the official communication sponsor, Aegean the official airacrrier, aQurance the official sponsor of the event and the LSE (The Hellenic Alumni Association of the London School of Economics and Political Science) supporting the event!
Good to see many from the United Kingdom Greek and Cypriot Community and particularly London. Lastly congratulations to all for hosting a very well construed event, one of the best ever we have attended in London as mentioned in the preamble of this news-bulletin!
N.B.: We have been contacted by dozens of viewers asking for the speakers’ presentations and as soon as we have some from the organisers, we will insert for you to take a taste of sheer pragmatism!