Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OpEd: Why Greece needs a new "Papademos"

This one of the comms from New Democracy leader Mitsotakis speech at the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises, an fomer employer of mine.

Kyriakos, a fellow Athens College alum, and I have somewhat similar educational backgrounds. 

When I interviewed for his exec team in March 2017 I pointed out that he has a very good academic part in his CV (Harvard College, Stanford and Harvard Business School). Better than Mark Rutte's. 

What I did not include is that the professional part lacks industry experience, unlike Mark Rutte's and mine.

Kyriakos has good professional experience, McKinsey London and two banks. But that's it.

He has not been a corporate executive, an entrepreneur, a call center agent. As his wife's tax declarations' issue shows he may not have done on his own his Greek tax returns.

I have suggested he gets some more such experience in order to take Greece to where it needs to go.

His policy agenda, as this gif shows is too generic and student like, alas.

His Ministrial experience has not shown any tendency towards achievement of goals.

His government plan was formulated by volunteers mostly from academia and investment banking execs headed by an old friend from Brussels, Kostis Hatzidakis. It crearly lacks understanding of how large, medium and small size firms work in Greece and in the EU, US and Asia.

An EPP leader has recently suggested he knows the Greek economy best. Not so.

I have joined SYRIZA in early 2018 in order to help its dynamic team re-adjust Greece.

Under the leadership of Kyriakos Mitsotakis, New Democracy does in addition show understanding of the needs of executives and other workers in Greece.

To make matters worse, his New Democracy, unlike his his late father's, has engaged in such populism in recent months over the Macedonia issue that damaged the real needs of Greek economy and society as well as Greece's creditors. 

I can foresee that its rhetoric will get worse and affect the re-adjustment of Greece.

At this crucial time, Greece needs serious main parties. Therefore either a new leadership is needed for ND.

An alternative is for New Democracy to participate in a government coalition  of a 2011-2012 type for a few months. It won't contribute in its present format much but will cease its negative effect on the much needed re-adjustment of Greece.

Nick Panayotopoulos
SB, MIT; MS, Northwestern; MBA, INSEAD

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