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In line with its objective to improve the level of public discourse about the crisis, the Crisis Observatory hosted a series of interviews with Greek and foreign politicians and officials, as well as with respected academics, analysts and intellectuals. These interviews are relatively limited in number; their objective was not to offer commentary on current events but to contribute to a thorough and diverse analysis of the crisis and its effects.

Interview of Luc Juillet and James Lahey, Canadian experts in public sector reform

Could give us the experience from Canada on Public Administration Reforms and what kind of lessons can be drawn out of it? Luc Juillet: Public administration reform is a broad term and so it is related to many different things. For example over the last ten years we have reformed the staffing and human resources regime and this was not crisis related. In terms of large-scale changes induced essentially, by …Read More

Interview of Henri Sterdyniak, Director of the department of the “Economy of Globalisation” at the French Observatory on Economic Conditions (OFCE)

The Eurozone is going through a severe crisis which has lasted a lot more than originally anticipated or hoped. It is now clear that part of the explanation for the duration and depth of the crisis is related to problems of the Eurozone governance mechanism. In your view what were/are the main problems and weaknesses of Eurozone’s governance? There are a lot of problems. Maybe we can identify two or …Read More

Interview of Martin Hellwig, Director of Max Planck Institute on Collective Goods, at Bonn

How do you define the crisis that Europe is experiencing today? It started as a financial crisis, later it became an economic crisis and then a debt crisis. What are the basic features of this crisis and why is it so difficult to tackle? If we are talking only about the Eurozone, I don’t actually think that there is just one crisis. It’s a set of several interlinked crises and …Read More

Interview of Martin Hirsch, President of Agence du Service Civique, to the Crisis Observatory

You have been dealing with the struggle against poverty your whole life. Did you ever think that in the 21rst century we would be witnessing in some parts of Europe a return to extreme poverty, for some people, of the kind we thought we had put behind us several decades ago? Yes, I know and it’s especially difficult in Greece but it’s also difficult in different countries, even in countries …Read More

Interview of Vivien A. Schmidt, Professor at Boston University, to the Crisis Observatory

In your view, why has the Eurozone not been able to exit the crisis? What are the principal problems of the approach that has been adopted so far? If we focus primarily on the governing rules as opposed to the macroeconomic policies, I see the EU as essentially engaged in a “one size” governing by the rules and ruling by the numbers.  And unfortunately the rules are not working or, …Read More

Interview of Paul De Grauwe, Professor at the London School of Economics, to Dimitris Katsikas, Head of the Crisis Observatory

What do you think are the major weaknesses in the structure of the EMU even before the crisis? I think that there are a number of design failures. So, I will stick to those that I think are the most important. One is that, while we centralized money, so much of the rest of market economic policies were kept at national level, creating an environment in which countries could diverge. …Read More

Interview of Dimitris Kourkoulas, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, to Nikos Chrysoloras.

Greece has now attained political and financial stability, although one precondition for the real recovery of our economy is to achieve “reliability surplus,” says Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dimitris Kourkoulas, in an interview for the Crisis Observatory. Mr. Kourkoulas, who is currently preparing Greece for the forthcoming presidency of the E.U. in the first half of 2014 – i.e. the period when the most crucial European elections of modern …Read More

Interview of Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Political Science, University of California, Berkeley, to Dimitris Katsikas, Head of the Crisis Observatory

Could you give us an overall assessment of the handling the European crisis so far? What has been done? Where things have gone wrong? I think there was a misdiagnosis of the crisis from the start, it was seen as primarily a fiscal problem. It is true that the crisis had a very prominent fiscal dimension in Greece, but focusing on debt and deficits when at the same time there …Read More

Interview of Stelios Stavridis, President of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund, to Pavlos Efthymiou, Research Associate of the Crisis Observatory

Privatization is a key aspect of the Greek fiscal adjustment programme. In this direction, the role of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) is expected to be catalytic. But what exactly is the role of HRADF? What are the objectives and obstacles in its operation? In order to answer these questions, we met with the president of HRADF, Stelios Stavridis. The interview is divided in five parts: a) the …Read More

Interview of Panos Tsakloglou, Chairman of the Council of Economic Experts, to Dimitris Katsikas, Head of the Observatory

Mr. Tsakloglou, as Chairman of the Council of Economic Experts, you have a significant role in economic policy making. Can you briefly explain to us what the Council of Economic Experts and its Chairman do? Essentially, the Council of Economic Experts is the think tank of the government in economic issues. It comprises a board composed of academics, which meet regularly, and a scientific team that operates on a daily …Read More