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.