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The 2012 HO Annual Lecture

                            Greece between Austerity, Reform and the Drachma

Professor Costas Azariadis
Edward Mallinckrodt Distinguished University Professor in Arts and Sciences, Washington University in St. Louis


Date  Monday, 5 March 2012
Time 18:30 - 20:00
Venue New Theatre, East Building, LSE
Chair Professor Kevin Featherstone, Hellenic Observatory Director, LSE

Costas Azariadis, of Washington State University in St. Louis (USA), gave the Twelfth Annual Hellenic Observatory Lecture at LSE on 5 March 2012. The title of the lecture was, "Greece between austerity, reform and the drachma".

In his lecture, Professor Azariadis began by addressing the question of why there had been 'no structural reform' in Greece in recent times. He attributed this to blockages created by special interests and the contradictions inherent in public opinion. Greece, he said, had the "most distorted" economic structure in the EU. It was suffering very high unemployment (especially youth), high income inequality, poor returns on education, excessive consumption, and a tale of insiders versus outsiders in the domestic economy.

He drew an alarming scenario of what might happen to the Greek economy in the future – over the short, medium and long-terms - without such reforms. The long-run scenario he labelled 'doomsday', with Greece's GDP falling to the levels of Albania. 

He noted that the scenarios were speculative, to make a basic point. To avoid disaster, public attitudes had to change, there should be a new constitution, extensive public works, and a war on corruption. Greece had faced disasters in the past and had overcome them.  A similar challenge faced her now.

The lecture was followed by a lively Q&A session with the audience and a private dinner.

                                                                   EVENT PHOTOS

Costas_Azariadis _7605Professor Costas Azariadis delivering his speech
     Costas_Azariadis _7595
Professor Costas Azariadis & Professor Kevin Featherstone (chair)

Costas_Azariadis _7599
Part of the audience in the New Theatre




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