Greece – the options going forward.

London Business School’s event, Greece-Options Going Forward took place on 18 January 2012 in Athens ...

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The event consisted of three expert panels and messages from London Business Schools’ Economist, Richard Portes and Greek Minister of the Interior, Dr. Tassos Giannitsis.

Re-organisation was an overlying theme that seemed to come from the discussions and questions from the audience. The time to change is now, in order to move forward Greece needs undergo a complete structural overhaul.  This includes focusing on key areas within the state-the civil service, the inevitability of a debt re-structure, the role the European Central Bank and whether Greece should stay on the Euro as a currency. 

Seeking solace from similar events, Argentina which defaulted around a decade ago was referenced many times by looking at its impact in the region and the disorderly restructuring that had a ripple effect on Uruguay.

It was obvious through the discussions that such drastic changes and re-structuring of a country will have a profound impact on Greece and its citizens daily lives, many of which will be negative. This is a time of opportunity to re-prioritise and focus on strengths. Panellists agreed the areas to prioritise are the public administration, reducing the size of the public sector, fixing the judiciary system and the reduction of red tape, all of which can facilitate growth.  Dr. Pavlos Mylonas, Chief Economist at the National Bank of Greece said now is the time for actual change and “Greece needs confidence, ownership and actual implementation.”

This event provided a platform for a range of experts to discuss what the needs are and what can feasibly be done in the immediate future of Greece but this may be a case of needing to take a giant step back in order to start making small steps forward.

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