Lessons from Financial Assistance to Greece

EUI Pierre Werner Chair & European Stability Mechanism webinar

2 December 2020, 16:00 – 17:30 (CET)

As soon as the Next Generation EU gets its final green light, the European Commission will become the first supranational debt issuer in a world as indebted as ever since WWII, albeit, temporary blessed with low interest rates. Meanwhile, heavily indebted Southern European countries suffering heavily from a second COVID wave are rushing to get their share of SURE debt, but seem afraid to take advantage of the ESM because the stigma of assistance to Greece prevails for many. Better for the EU to learn its own Greek lesson if it is going to be the #1 player in this game. It is the right time to zoom, listen and discuss what the independent evaluators have to say and possibly the right time to expose ‘the Greek stigma’.


Recording of the event



Presentation of the Independent Evaluation Report by Joaquín Almunia (Independent Evaluator)

  • Chair: Ramon Marimon (Pierre Werner Chair and Professor of Economics, EUI)

Panel discussion with:

  • Giancarlo Corsetti (Professor of Macroeconomics, University of Cambridge)
  • George Papaconstantinou (Professor of International Political Economy, STG, EUI)
  • Alexander Stubb (Director of the School of Transnational Governance, EUI)
  • Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell (First High-level Independent Evaluator of the ESM)

Closing remarks:

  • Nicola Giammarioli (Secretary General of the ESM)



Joaquín Almunia was appointed as the ESM high-level independent evaluator of the financial assistance to Greece in February 2019. He was appointed upon nomination by the Chairman of the ESM Board of Governors, Mário Centeno, in cooperation with the ESM Managing Director, Klaus Regling, and in consultation with the 19 ESM Members. He is Chairman of the Board of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), Honorary President of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics and a Visiting Professor at PSIA – Sciences-Po where he teaches a masters course on EU Competition Policy. From April 2004 to October 2014, he has been a member of the European Commission, in charge of the portfolio of Economic and Monetary Affairs, and since February 2010 as Vice-President and Commissioner in charge of Competition Policy. He has been a member of the Spanish Government, as minister of Labour and Social Security (1982-1986) and minister for Public Administration (1986-1991); member of the Spanish Parliament (1979-2004); and leader of the Spanish Socialist Party (PSOE) (1997-2000). He holds Degrees in Economics (1971) and Law (1972) at the University of Deusto (Bilbao, Spain).

Giancarlo Corsetti (Ph.D. Yale, 1992), Fellow of the British Academy, is Professor of Macroeconomics at Cambridge University, fellow of Clare College. He has previously taught at the European University Institute in Florence, as Pierre Werner Chair, and the Universities of Rome III, Yale and Bologna. Corsetti is a leading scholar in international economics and open macro with pioneering contributions on currency, financial and sovereign crises, monetary and fiscal policy in open economy, the international transmission and global imbalances, and the economics of monetary unions. Corsetti is a research consultant at the European Central Bank and the Bank of England and a regular visiting professor in central banks and international institutions. He is a research fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research CEPR, where he served as co-director of the International Macroeconomic Programme between 2004 and 2015. He is a member the European Economic Association, where he served as a member of the council, and Program Chairman of the 2007 Annual Congress in Budapest.

Ramon Marimon is Professor of Economics and Pierre Werner Chair at the European University Institute (on leave from the Universitat Pompeu Fabra) and Research Fellow of CEPR and NBER, member of the CEPR Research and Policy Network (RPN) on European Economic Architecture. Former Chairman of the Barcelona Graduate School of Economics (2011 –  2018), President of the Society of Economic Dynamics (2012 – 2015) and of the Spanish Economic Association (2004), Director of the Max Weber Programme of the EUI (2006 – 2013) and Chair of the European Economic Association Standing Committee on Research (2008 – 2011). He was Secretary of State for Science and Technology in Spain (2000 – 2002) and had served in several Expert Groups advising the European Commission on R&D and Higher Education policy. He was a co-founder of UPF and first Director of CREi, and had been Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Minnesota, after getting his PhD at Northwestern University (1984). His research interests include Macroeconomics, Monetary Theory, Contract Theory, Learning Theory and Labor Theory, with a special emphasis on European economic issues. His research has been published in Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Economic Theory, Review of Economic Dynamics, and other journals.

George Papaconstantinou is Chair at the School of Transnational Governance and Director of the School’s executive education programme. He is an economist who holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and has served government at the highest level, as cabinet minister, Member of Parliament and Member of European Parliament (MEP). As Greece’s Finance Minister and subsequently Minister of Environment and Energy, he guided implementation of an ambitious and wide-ranging governance reform programme relating to budget and revenue processes, market liberalisation, publicly owned corporations and the divestment of state assets, as well as for the transition to clean energy and a green economy. In the earlier part of his career, he was a senior economist at the OECD, subsequently served in a policy advisory capacity for the Greek government, was a Board member of the largest telecoms company in Greece, taught at the Athens University of Economics and Business and consulted for the European Commission and international think-tanks. Since leaving public office, his work has focused on economic and financial policy-related analysis and governance issues. He has recently published Whatever It Takes – The Battle for Post-Crisis Europe. At the STG, and in collaboration with the EUI Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, Professor Papaconstantinou is leading the Transformation of Global Governance project, a major research and policy analysis endeavour. Its aim is to decipher the transformation of global governance underway in a series of fields and to assess the effectiveness of the emerging global governance arrangements.

Alexander Stubb is the Director of the School of Transnational Governance as of 1 May 2020. He has served as Prime Minister, Finance Minister, Foreign Minister, Trade and Europe Minister of Finland (2008-2016). He was a Member of the European Parliament from 2004 to 2008 and national parliament (2011-2017). He was the Chairman of the Finnish National Coalition Party (Kokoomus) from 2014 to 2016 and Vice President of the European Investment Bank (EIB) from 2017 to 2020. Stubb worked as an advisor at the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Helsinki and Brussels and in President Romano Prodi’s team at the European Commission (1995-2004). He was involved in the negotiation of the Treaties of Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon.Stubb’s background is in academia, civil service and politics. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from the London School of Economics, a Master’s degree in EU administration from the College of Europe in Bruges, and a B.A. in political science from Furman University in South Carolina. He also studied French language, culture and civilisation at the Sorbonne in Paris. Between 2000 and 2007, he was a visiting Professor at the College of Europe in Bruges. Stubb has written numerous books and academic articles on European affairs and publishes columns for several newspapers, including the Financial Times, on a regular basis.

Nicola Giammarioli is Secretary General and a member of the Management Board of the ESM. He is in charge of Corporate Governance and Internal Policies as well as Policy Strategy and Institutional Relations. Mr Giammarioli joined the EFSF/ESM in 2012 as Head of Strategy and Institutional Relations, responsible for implementing the ESM policy strategy, reviewing and developing ESM instruments, representing the ESM in European and international forums as well as managing relations with credit rating agencies. He also held the role of ESM country team coordinator for Greece between 2015 – 2019 and for Ireland in 2013 – 2014. Prior to this, Mr. Giammarioli has been an International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board member, an advisor of the minister, and a director in the Italian Ministry of Economy and Finance. He has also held positions of economist and senior economist at the European Central Bank (ECB) in the Directorate General Economics. Mr. Giammarioli graduated in economics at Bocconi University. He obtained a M.Sc. in quantitative development economics from the University of Warwick, and a Ph.D. in economics from the European University Institute. He has carried out postgraduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and written articles and economic publications on monetary and fiscal issues.

Gertrude Tumpel-Gugerell has extensive professional experience in the field of economic policy and financial stability. She was the first High-level Independent Evaluator for ESM/EFSF programmes. From 2003–2011 she served as a member of the ECB Executive Board, where she was responsible for market operations, payment systems and market infrastructure, human resources, budget, and organisation. Previously, in 1998–2003, she had been vice governor of the Austrian Central Bank. Currently, Ms Tumpel-Gugerell is an Associate at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research. She holds a doctoral degree in economics and social sciences from the University of Vienna.