Book launch of ‘Game Over – The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis’ by George Papaconstantinou
Speaker: George Papaconstantinou, Former Greek Finance Minister
Chair: Professor Kevin Featherstone, Head of the European Institute; Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies and Professor of European Politics, LSE
Six years since the Greek crisis erupted, Europe has been fundamentally transformed, while Greece is in its third bailout, still in severe social and economic decline. The book of former Greek Finance Minister George Papaconstantinou tells the breath-taking story of this unprecedented period, and prompts a broad discussion on the decisions taken during the crisis and on the direction of Europe today. Were other solutions available? Would Greece and Europe have been better off if the country had left the Euro? Did European and global institutions respond appropriately? Have they since reformed adequately and are there now in place safeguards to ensure it cannot happen again? These questions and the themes discussed in the book are extremely relevant today as Europe grapples with its continuing economic problems and the rise of populism.
Game Over is a real-life political thriller, in which for the first time one of the protagonists of the crisis tells the inside story of the six years during which the Greek drama changed Europe and riveted the world. It is the story of a country forced by past mistakes into unprecedented actions with enormously painful consequences. But it is also a story about the people who shaped events in Europe; about politicians who tried in vain to understand and outsmart markets; and markets that exposed failings in economic and political systems.
Author’s short bio:
George Papaconstantinou was born in Athens in 1961, and studied economics in the UK and the US, obtaining a Ph.D from the London School of Economics. After working for 10 years at the OECD in Paris, he returned to Greece, was elected to the Greek Parliament, and in 2009 to the European Parliament. In October 2009 he was appointed Finance Minister in the newly formed government of George Papandreou. From that position he was the point man in the Greek economic and financial crisis, uncovering the true extent of Greece’s fiscal troubles, and negotiating the 110 billion Euro loan agreement with the EU and the IMF. During his tenure in this critical period, Greece undertook a dramatic fiscal consolidation effort and embarked on significant structural reforms – a huge adjustment effort with however an equally large economic and social cost.
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London School of Economics and Political Science,
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