Greek Crisis: A Book Presentation in Bologna

If you are in Bologna, you shouldn’t miss this event!

18:30, Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – AUDITORIUM (SAIS Bologna, Via Belmeloro 11)

“Game Over: The Inside Story of the Greek Crisis” – A Book Talk & Panel Discussion with the Author

George Papaconstantinou (author)

Economist; Former Minister for Finance, Greece


Paolo Manasse (discussant)

University of Bologna, Italy


Luigi Marattin (discussant)

Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Italy


Erik Jones (chair)

Johns Hopkins University SAIS, Italy
Risk Seminar Series and the Risk in International Political Economy Course. The series and the course are supported by SAIS Europe Advisory Council Member Robert S. Singer.

Organized by Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe, the Department of Economics of the University of Bologna and Nomisma


George Papaconstantinou

George Papaconstantinou was the point person in the Greek economic and financial crisis. On becoming Finance Minister in October 2009, he uncovered the true extent of Greece’s fiscal troubles and went on to participate in all European discussions and efforts to create a support mechanism for Greece. Papaconstantinou negotiated the 110 billion Euro loan agreement with the EU and the IMF, together with a package of fiscal, structural and financial policies accompanying the largest loan ever received by a country.

During his tenure as Finance Minister in a very critical period for Greece and Europe, he overhauled the budget process, put in place expenditure monitoring and assessment mechanisms, and created an independent statistical authority. Papaconstantinou embarked on tax reform, with legislative and organizational changes to combat tax evasion. He furthermore implemented wide-ranging structural reforms in product, service and financial markets, and designed a large-scale privatization program. When he left office, the public deficit was 6 percentage points below GDP, Greece had recovered half the competitiveness lost since Eurozone entry, and it was the fastest reforming OECD country – a huge adjustment effort with an equally large economic and social cost. In the process, he also became the perfect scapegoat for all the troubles of the country, ending with a trial by a special court for his handling of the so-called Lagarde list – a gruelling personal ordeal which he powerfully describes in the book.

George was born in Athens in 1961 and studied economics in the UK and the US. After obtaining a Ph.D from the London School of Economics, he worked for 10 years as an international civil servant at the OECD in Paris. In 1997, he returned to Greece to serve in a policy advisory capacity for the Greek government under Prime Minister Kostas Simitis. He ran for parliament for the first time in 2000, was elected in 2007, became party spokesman, and in 2009 headed the PASOK list for the June European Parliament elections. He resigned as an MEP a few months after being elected, upon being appointed Finance Minister in the government formed by George Papandreou following the October 2009 elections.