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Friday 09 December 2016

ESCP Europe professor speaks at 'What the Future Holds for Greece' event

ESCP Europe's Prof. Kostas Andriosopoulos participated in an afternoon discussion on "The Future of Greece" under the Chairmanship of Lord Lothian at the House of Lords in London on 16th November, 2016.

The event was hosted by MEC International Ltd. It focused on political, economic, legal, and social issues in both Greece and the UK.

Speaking alongside Prof. Andriosopoulos were:

  • Mr. Harry Theoharis, MP, Former Greek Treasury Minister
  • Dr. Dimitri Tsomocos, University of Oxford, Professor of Financial Economics
  • Mr. Michael Parker, Citibank, Global Industry Head for the Shipping

ESCP Europe and the School's Research Centre for Energy Management were also represented by International Associate George Hatziioannou.


The key points were raised were as follows:

  • Greece has seen an increase in British tourism offset by fall in trade
  • The weakness of the British pound against the euro has adversely changed the terms of trade and discouraged real estate investments
  • Hard Brexit would threaten historic strong educational links between Britain and Greece
  • Greek debt has brought Greece close to quitting Euro
  • Over-regulation, a large public sector, tax complexity and political volatility are negative factors for investors
  • Greece however with its strategic location and educated workforce with international networks has potential to become Europe’s California
  • Political weakness rather than debt choked the Greek economy

Latest on the regulatory framework, energy, shipping, investments and the environment

  • Shipping is considered a key part of world's economy, however the industry is evolving as there are plans for crewless ships operated remotely
  • Slow-down in world economy has reduced demand for container traffic,  less demand for oil tankers is expected as green energy and electric vehicles demand is growing fast
  • LNG shipping and floating gasification platforms are growing as part of the global energy shipping mix
  • Complacency is risky – Britain fell to nowhere from being world leader in shipping in a decade
  • The Greek labour force is shrinking reducing the tax base and widespread tax evasion
  • Urgent fiscal reform needs to be combined with flexibility over Greek debt are needed - otherwise there may be a return to the Drachma
  • There is imbalance between benefits of Euro to Germany and its EU partners that is not sustainable
  • Greece is pre-eminent in shipping with 15% of world shipping being Greek flagged, this sector grew as ships were built against commercial contracts
  • Problems have arisen as ships were built speculatively supported by bank loans 
  • German and French banks are heavily investing in shipping

 

Dr. Kostas Andriosopoulos is:

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