Thursday 23 November 2017

Banker who guided his country into single currency

Greek PM

NEW Greek prime minister Lucas Papademos is known as a policy guru and technocrat, a 'non politician' taking on the top position in Greek politics, writes Peter Flanagan.

An economist by trade, the 64-year-old is a career banker and academic who has never held elected office. Educated in the US, he's best known in Greece for his role in guiding the country into the euro when he was head of the Greek Central Bank.

When he took over there in 1994 he faced a stagnant economy which was growing at about half the rate of other eurozone members. He used a number of strategies, including devaluing the drachma in 1998, to curb inflation and get the Greek economy into shape to join the single currency.

Most recently he was an economic adviser to George Papandreou and the fact his national unity government will sit for no longer than 100 days means his lack of political pedigree is not likely to matter. "He's a skilled and thoughtful banker," said Fredrik Erixon, head of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels.

"And he's got sufficient distance from Greek politics to be seen as someone standing above Greek party political corruption."

Irish Independent

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