Business Irish

Thursday 14 December 2017

'Big coup' as McWilliams gets Varoufakis to open Kilkenomics

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis
Adam Cullen

Adam Cullen

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis is to open this year's Kilkenomics festival after accepting an invitation on Twitter.

The event, co-founded by Irish Independent columnist and economist David McWilliams and Naoise Nunn, will kick off in Kilkenny on November 5.

Mr Varoufakis, a motorbike-riding Greek academic, was axed as finance minister of the troubled nation in June following a clash with prime minister Alexis Tsipras after the country's referendum on the EU's austerity demands.

"It's great to have him. It is a big coup for us. He is a great guest and tickets are flying," said Mr McWilliams.

"He is a big star. I just invited him over Twitter, and he said yes. He is very interested in coming to Ireland and discussing what happened in Greece from his point of view, and we haven't really heard that yet.

"I'll be sitting down with him for about an hour, and he will get to go through the whole process, how it evolved and the ECB's role.

"We will also delve into what he thinks the future holds for Greece and the EU. And what will happen to Greece, Ireland and Spain if there is another crisis."

The unique economics festival, which offers a comic twist on the subject, is now in its sixth year and is presenting its most ambitious and high-profile programme yet.

Other contributors going to Kilkenny for the five-day event include 'Financial Times' chief economic commentator Martin Wolf, 'The Black Swan' author Nassim Taleb, and Ogilvy UK advertising creative director Rory Sutherland.

Mr Varoufakis and Mr Taleb will be appearing in Kilkenny's 13th Century St Canice's Cathedral.

The event will run from November 5 to 8.

Irish Independent

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