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Presentation of the publication: Greece's Economic Performance and Prospects

25/02/2002 - Press Releases

The volume entitled Greece’s Economic Performance and Prospects, jointly published by the Bank of Greece and the Brookings Institution, located in Washington D.C., was today presented at the Bank’s Head Office in Athens by the Governor of the Bank of Greece Mr. Lucas Papademos, the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece Mr. Nicholas C. Garganas and Mr. Ralph C. Bryant, Senior Fellow in the Economic Studies Programme at the Brookings Institution, Washington. Messrs Bryant and Garganas, and Mr. George S. Tavlas, Director-Adviser, Economic Research Department in the Bank of Greece, are the editors of the volume.

The book comprises 11 papers produced through the cooperation of prominent Greek, other European, and American scholars. The initial versions of the contributions contained in the book were presented and discussed at a conference co-sponsored by the Bank of Greece and the Brookings Institution. The conference was held in Athens on 7-8 December 2000. Each paper in the volume addresses a specific aspect of the Greek economy. The papers assess Greek economic performance and policies over the past quarter of a century and seek to identify the major economic challenges facing Greece after its accession to the euro area. The 600-plus-page volume also includes the Opening Address delivered at the conference by the Bank’s Governor Mr. Lucas D. Papademos, as well as an extensive Introduction by Messrs Ralph C. Bryant, Nicholas C. Garganas and George S. Tavlas, reviewing economic developments and economic policies in Greece from 1974 onwards. The Introduction also includes an overview of the papers.

The papers are the following:

    1. “Monetary Regimes and Inflation Performance: The Case of Greece” by Nicholas C. Garganas and George S. Tavlas. The authors investigate the principal causes of Greek inflation, its effects on economic activity, and the policies needed to achieve low inflation. They show how the Bank of Greece’s “hard-drachma” policy from the mid-1990s, combined with tightened fiscal and incomes policies and institutional reforms, contributed importantly to the rapid decline of inflation in recent years. A discussion is provided by Michael J. Artis.
    2. “Greek Fiscal and Budget Policy and EMU” by Vassilios G. Manessiotis and Robert D. Reischauer. The authors examine the evolution of fiscal policy and the factors contributing to the fiscal stance. They argue that effective control of primary spending will be required in order to ensure the sustainability of fiscal adjustment. A discussion is provided by Vito Tanzi.
    3. “Economic Growth in Greece: Past Performance and Future Prospects” by Barry Bosworth and Tryphon Kollintzas. The authors examine past economic performance and the outlook for future growth. They recommend that Greece quicken the pace of reform of domestic economic institutions to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Comments on the paper are provided by John F. Helliwell and by George S. Tavlas and Nicholas G. Zonzilos.
    4. “The Determination of Wage and Price Inflation in Greece: An Application of Modern Cointegration Techniques” by Stephen G. Hall and Nicholas G. Zonzilos. The authors analyse the operation of the wage-price mechanism and highlight the factors which have led to the considerable drop of inflation over recent years. Comments are by Peter Pauly.
    5. “Issues in the Transmission of Monetary Policy” by Sophocles N. Brissimis, Nicholas S. Magginas, George T. Simigiannis and George S. Tavlas. The authors examine the operation of the monetary transmission mechanism in Greece during a period of financial deregulation. Comments are provided by Frank Smets and by Lawrence Klein.
    6. “EU Transfers and Greece’s Real Exchange Rate: A Naked Eye View” by John Spraos. The author analyses how large inward transfers after Greece’s accession to the European Community affected the drachma’s real exchange rate. The discussant is Apostolis Philippopoulos.
    7. “Greece’s Balance of Payments and Competitiveness” by Nicholas T. Tsaveas. The author assesses the evolution of Greece’s balance of payments and competitiveness. He argues that, while the recent levels of current account deficits are sustainable, policy actions are needed to improve the supply side of the economy.
    8. “The Greek Pension System: Strategic Framework for Reform” by Axel Borsch-Supan and Platon Tinios. The authors analyse the strengths and weaknesses of the Greek pension system and suggest a framework for reform. They argue that reform is needed for financial viability reasons as well as for social and economic reasons. Discussion is provided by E. Philip Davis.
    9. “The Greek Labour Market” by Gary Burtless. The author examines the structure and institutions of the Greek labour market. He argues that the current legislative and regulatory framework does nor favour job creation for wage-earners in large and modern enterprises, a fact connected with the relatively low increase in productivity. While recent government actions have gone some way towards improving labour-market performance, further policy measures are needed to increase productivity. Discussion is provided by Plutarchos Sakellaris.
    10. “Product Market Reform in Greece: Policy Priorities and Prospects” by Paul Mylonas and George Papaconstantinou. The authors assess recent Greek product market reforms, particularly the deregulation process in sectors such as telecommunications, energy and transport. They also refer to the need to eliminate obstacles to competition so as to promote entrepreneurship in the rapidly growing private sector. Discussion is provided by Leonard Waverman.
    11. “Greek Banking at the Dawn of the New Millennium” by Barry Eichengreen and Heather D. Gibson. The authors assess the forces leading to the transformation of Greek banking. They analyse the relation between bank size and bank profitability and investigate how privatisation, together with other trends, will alter the structure of the Greek banking system. Their paper is followed by a comment by Max W. Corden.

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