FNF Greece: “Emergency Economic Summit for Greece” stirs up unprecedented media coverage

Besides #eesg being one of the top five hashtags in Greece for the entire day, the liberal “Emergency Economic Summit for Greece” (EESG), which the FNF co-hosted with several American and Greek partners, was also a hot topic in the Greek media:

The biggest Greek news agency ANA-MPA highlights the keynote speech given by the Greek Minister of Finance Yiannis Varoufakis. The minister is quoted by saying that “getting the next loan tranche could not be an end in itself” and that “Greece’s best interests were not served by lurching from bailout to bailout, or from memorandum to memorandum”. Even if the overcoming of the perpetual “culture of memoranda” was also the objective of the EESG, Varoufakis and the liberal experts were miles apart about the ways to do so: FinMin Varoufakis: ‘Our goal is a final and comprehensive solution’

The reform-oriented newspaper Kathimerini presents the confrontation between Varoufakis and Thomas J. Sargent, Nobel laureate in Economics, with columnist Yannis Palaiologos calling it a “clash of two cosmo-theories”. For the third-biggest newspaper in Greece, Varoufakis only repeated the arguments for the causes of the crisis, especially the American “estate bubble”, but neglecting the costs of the Greek public sector. Thomas J. Sargent received applause when he noted that Varoufakis spoke about “the Great Depression of the Greek state, not of the Greek economy.” He also doubted if the Greek government realized the consequences of a suspension of payments for its compatriots: Αντιπαράθεση Σάρτζεντ-Βαρουφάκη με φόντο την ελληνική κρίση

The political and economic weekly Crash takes up the most impressing statements made in the conference, highlighting Prof. Economides’ quote that “a Grexit would be as much of a catastrophe as the Minor Asia Catastrophe”, comparing the negative consequences of a Grexit with the annihilating end of the Greco-Turkish War in 1922. The same article also quotes in detail EESG panelist Juan José Daboub, a former Minister of Finance of El Salvador and Managing Director of World Bank Group, who illustrated the reforms undertaken in El Salvador: Έκτακτο Οικονομικό Συνέδριο – Το Grexit ισοδυναμεί με νέα μικρασιατική καταστροφή

The nationwide TV station Ant1 News posts a video of the speech of Finance Minister Yiannis Varoufakis at the Emergency Economic Summit for Greece, mentioning his main argument: to convince the lenders that the previous economic policy was wrong and thus failed. Varoufakis also suggested that only reforms can lead to a positive development for Greece: Βαρουφάκης: Στόχος η οριστική και συνολική λύση

Lykavitos, an Athens-based newspaper, and the island newspaper To Vima tis Ko from Kos deliver extended articles on the conference, paying attention especially to the speeches of Profs. Nicholas Economidis and Karl-Heinz Paqué. The latter stated that the lenders will not grant financial assistance to Greece without any structural reforms. He added that a Grexit would be a catastrophe for the Hellenic Republic, and that most countries in the EU – and certainly all the countries poorer than Greece – are unwilling to offer even more money for another Greek bailout: Ν. Οικονομίδης: Grexit = Nέα μικρασιατική καταστροφή and Σοκ σε συνέδριο: Η Ελλάδα είναι διατεθειμένη να χάσει τα νησιά του ανατολικού Αιγαίου;

The most popular Greek news website In.gr mentions the main points of Varoufakis’ contribution, namely the necessity for further reforms, and the general view that Greece cannot continue going from loan to loan and from memorandum to memorandum. The article mentions also the goals of the conference, the speakers and the organizers among which is the FNF: Βαρουφάκης: Δεν είναι αυτοσκοπός η δόση, στόχος η οριστική και συνολική λύση

The business, maritime and political web portal Capital.gr dedicates an article to the presence of the Minister of Finance, Yiannis Varoufakis. The minister believes that supporting entrepreneurship is crucial, but not through further market deregulation since Greece would already have the most deregulated market in Europe “with employees working like slaves”. Varoufakis is also quoted mentioning the necessity of developing a sound economic plan which will be compatible with common sense: Γ. Βαρουφάκης: “Όχι” στην ίδια λανθασμένη πολιτική

In another article, Capital.gr presents the lessons taught in the EESG from Slovakia and El Salvador – from Ivan Miklos and Juan José Daboub respectively – which coped with their economic problems through serious economic reforms, even more radical than what the IMF advised, and now enjoy high rates of development: “Mαθήματα” από Σλοβακία και Ελ Σαλβαδόρ

Athanasios Grammenos & Markus Kaiser
Videos: Capital TV