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Book Launch

Who's to Blame for Greece? Austerity in Charge of Saving a Broken Economy

Speakers :

Theodore Pelagidis
NR Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution, USA, Professor of Economics, University of Piraeus

Michael Mitsopoulos
PhD Boston University; Senior Advisor, Hellenic Federation of Enterprises

Discussant : Professor Dimitri Vayanos, Head of the Department of Finance, LSE
Chair :

Dr Vassilis Monastiriotis, Associate Professor in the Political Economy of South East Europe, LSE

Date :

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Venue : Wolfson Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE
Time : 18.30-20.00

Event Poster

Book Abstract

In the first part of the presentation, the speakers presented the narrative which shaped the understanding of Greek policymakers and politicians about costs and benefits for Greece to join the single currency. They then matched this narrative with the declared policy strategy, and its implementation, by the government that introduced the Maastricht treaty for ratification, in order to investigate the extent to which its conviction that Greece could succeed to enter on equal terms as a constructive member country was well founded. The IMF Director’s, and supporting staff, reports on Greece from 1990 on, as well as the European Council recommendations to Greece and the preceding European Commission recommendations to the Council was also be examined. The speakers presented these in order to place them in context with the key issues raised before, as well as with the recent developments in Europe and the country. They proceeded then to argue that the failure to take into account the defeat of the reform effort of the early 90’was paired with a  failure to incorporate a political economy assessment in the implementation of the reform programs after 2010, leading to disastrous policies like an internal devaluation that focused predominantly on the private sector and the emergence of “Grexit talk”. The lessons these policy mistakes teach us matter not only for Greece, but also for a Europe that even now cannot find a way to promote “convergence in institutions”.



Theodore Pelagidis is a NR Senior Fellow at Brookings Institution, USA, and Professor of Economics at the University of Piraeus, Greece. He has also been a NATO scholar at the Center for European Studies at Harvard University; an NBG fellow at the Hellenic Observatory, London School of Economics; and a Fulbright professorial fellow at Columbia University. He has also served as an advisor to the International Monetary Fund in the Independent Evaluation Office. 


Michael Mitsopoulos is an economist at the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises. He holds a PhD from Boston University. He has worked in the financial sector and as a ministerial advisor, has taught at the University of Piraeus and the Athens University of Economics and Business. Michael is co-author, with Theodore Pelagidis, of Greece: From Exit to Recovery? Brookings Institution Press 2014 & Understanding the Crisis in Greece. From Boom to Bust, MacMillan/Palgrave, 2011 & 2012 2nd edition.

For more information on the book please visit the Palgrave website.







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