DEREE alum Nicholas Ritsonis (DEREE ‘73) an economist who’s also a former professor of Economics at DEREE and co-founder (alongside Evangelos Charatsis) of BETA Securities, addressed this year’s Panel Discussion: “Drivers of Economic Growth: The Day After for Greece,” held April 3th at the Aghia Paraskevi campus, featuring Greek Minister of Labor, Social Security & Welfare Ioannis Vroutsis, as well as professionals from the economic and banking sectors.

Mr Ritsonis discussed the issue of closed societies that allow protection of specific interests. He used examples from history to demonstrate that open economies are the key driver to prosperity.

Solid management and strategic planning for the labor market; a firm banking system that has a mutually beneficial relationship with the state; full adoption of the rule of the law; a healthy open economy system: Four drivers that can guarantee that the Day After for Greece will be a bright one.

The event was well attended and received extensive press coverage.

The Panel Discussion 2014 gathered students, faculty and guests and was organized by the Economics Society in collaboration with the Office of Public Affairs.

Minister Ioannis Vroutsis started off by pointing out the significant fundamental reforms introduced during his tenure in his area of responsibility. He explained that, during this period, the Greek state managed to design and implement patented systems (Atlas, Ergani, etc.) that can give us a pool of data and trends regarding labor and social security market, most valuable tools towards meeting better employment needs and plan and develop better respective educational fields.

Eurobank’s Chief Economist Gkikas Hardouvelis, who is also a Professor of Finance and Economics at the University of Piraeus, outlined the difficulties encountered by the banking sector during these last few years and the major competitiveness problem that has been created. Nevertheless, he expressed his optimism that through intervention of the European Central Bank, these issues will be resolved.

Ms. Elena Panariti, former member of Parliament and former World Bank economist as well as founder of the foundation “Thought for Action” that promotes improved governance and appropriate institutional reforms, highlighted the need for Greece to fully implement the rule of law, by raising a question: “Do we wish to belong in the 70% of the world where the rule of law is weak and the development slow, or to be a part of the 30% where rules apply, investments are secure and growth is rapid?”

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