Pictured (l-r): Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor, The Economist; Enrico Letta, Former Prime Minister of Italy; and Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics, NUI Galway.
Jul 15 2014 Posted: 09:55 IST

Professor Alan Ahearne, Head of Economics at NUI Galway, recently spoke at The Economist’s 18th Roundtable with the Government of Greece, ‘The Big Rethink for Europe’, in Athens.

Professor Ahearne shared a panel with Enrico Letta, Former Prime Minister of Italy, and Daniel Franklin, Executive Editor, The Economist. The discussions centred on lessons to be learnt from EU members states on economic recovery and the need for EU leaders to implement their strategy for closer economic and political integration in order to restore confidence and stability.

The Economist's 18th Roundtable with the Government of Greece brought together Greek ministers (including the prime minister), two former Italian prime ministers, the opposition leader and many senior business representatives. The timing made this an appropriate moment for what the meeting's subtitle called a "big rethink". Greece's economy is at a turning point after six years of recession; following the recent cabinet reshuffle several ministers could outline their priorities in their new portfolios; and instability around Europe's rim prompts some rethinking on international relations, too.

"The economic recovery in Ireland is more visible in the labor market, which-after-stabilized in the last two years be refined," Professor Ahearne concluded speaking at the annual Economist.

Referring to the factors responsible in the opinion of the reversal of the image in Ireland, analyzed the following three levels:

·       Basic economic forces came into play (pharmaceutical sector, medical technology, ICT, agri-food, tourism).

·       Decisive action was taken within the country (sustained effort to reduce the budget deficit and rebuild the banking system).

·       Support policies reinforced from abroad (CMT, new architecture of the Euro, revised terms on bank loans - improving the economies of the U.S. and Britain).

Professor Ahearne spoke, however, the need for further macroeconomic support to address the gaps in the labor market, with emphasis on youth unemployment.


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