Professor Christodoulakis' seminar was based on a research project under the title: 'Restarting the Greek Economy: How by lowering primary surpluses, insurance contributions and the tax burden, Greece can lift growth, raise employment and stabilize public debt', conducted by him, M. Nektarios and H. Theocharis.
The research project addresses some critical factors that persistently inhibit growth and employment in Greece since the debt-crisis erupted in 2010. These include the enormous public debt, the faltering social security system and the dysfunctional tax system. Analyzing the roots and interconnections of the three issues, the report comes up with a solid proposal to tackle them all at the same time by suggesting a new policy mix of higher investment, lower insurance contributions and a simplified tax system. Such a policy shift requires a major reprofiling of official debt repayments and a renegotiation between Greece and its official creditors on the ambitious fiscal targets that have been set after the expiration of the third bailout program in August 2018. The study proposes that surplus targets lower to around 1.50% of GDP, while the remaining fiscal space of around 2% of GDP is used to finance public infrastructure and export capacity. Public debt is easier to stabilize and Gross Financial Needs are kept well below 15% of GDP, thanks to the higher growth generated through new investment.
Nicos Christodoulakis, is Professor of Economic Analysis at the Athens University of Economics & Business, and a Visiting Professor at the Hellenic Observatory in the European Institute, LSE. Author of several papers and books on macroeconomics and economic policy, including “How Crises Shaped Economic Ideas and Policies” (Springer, 2014), the “Greek Endgame: From austerity to growth or Grexit” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015), and “An Economic Analysis of Conflicts” (Springer, 2016). He held various public offices and was an MP (1999-2007). In 2002-2004 he was Minister of Finance and –during the Greek EU presidency - chairman of the Eurogroup (July 2002-June 2003). Participated in the caretaker Government (August-September 2015) as Minister for the Economy. His latest book “Rebooting the Greek Economy” describes an alternative to the current policy mix by lowering taxes, primary surpluses and insurance contributions, so that investment and growth pick up and make public debt more easily serviceable and sustainable (Dianeosis, 2018, coauthored with M. Nektarios & H. Theocharis).
Professor Manolis Galenianos is Professsor of Economics at the Department of Economics, Royal Holloway, University of London.
Professor Kevin Featherstone is the Hellenic Observatory Director and Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics.
View some photos of the seminar here.
Listen to the podcast here.
View the video here.
The Hellenic Observatory (@HO_LSE) is internationally recognised as one of the premier research centres on contemporary Greece and Cyprus. It engages in a range of activities, including developing and supporting academic and policy-related research; organisation of conferences, seminars and workshops; academic exchange through visiting fellowships and internships; as well as teaching at the graduate level through LSE's European Institute.
Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEGreece
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