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Former Minister of Finance in the Greek
Administration 2009-2011
Professor of Economics, European University
Institute (EUI), Florence, Italy

  • George Papaconstantinou is a Greek economist and politician who has served the Greek government at the highest level and at a critical time. As the Greek Minister of Finance, he was one of the key policy makers at the outset of the Eurozone crisis.

  • As the Finance Minister on the outbreak of the Greek economic crisis, he was the one to uncover the truth about Greek statistics and negotiate the first 110 billion Euro bailout with Greece’s European partners and the IMF.

  • Currently teaching at EUI, at the School of Transnational Governance, and in collaboration with the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Prof. Papaconstantinou is leading the Transformation of Global Governance project, a major research and policy analysis endeavor initiated by the EUI.

  • Author of the acclaimed book “Game Over – The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis”

  • An exceptional public speaker with an important and fascinating story to tell.

About The TALK

Whatever It Takes – Facing up to Challenges and Navigating Change in Europe

George Papaconstantinou has a unique perspective: he was a protagonist in one of the most critical periods for Greece and for Europe. He is uniquely placed to offer commentary and insight on the workings of the Union, its contradictions and the forces both pushing it forward and holding it back. As the Greek Finance Minister at the beginning of the Eurozone crisis, he played a key role in European decision-making, negotiating the first bailout with the Troika, guiding the county through painful economic and social reforms and paying the political price for it.

In his book, “Game Over – The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis”, he tells the story of the years during which Greece changed Europe and riveted the world. It is a real-life political thriller of a country forced by past mistakes into unprecedented actions with enormously painful consequences.

His follow-up book “Whatever It Takes – The Battle for Post-Crisis Europe” examines the politics, economics and institutions of the EU as it moves beyond its immediate crisis and faces an uncertain future framed by external threats and internal challenges. His talk will take us through the events which led to the crisis, Europe’s main actions and decisions, to today’s debate and opportunities, urging us to rethink the economic, social and institutional architecture as well as address the nagging democratic deficit that undermines European legitimacy.

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