The Greek Crisis and the Future of the Eurozone – A Talk by Nobel Prize Winner Sir Christopher Pissarides

Published on: 2015-08-28


This talk is part of the HKUST IEMS and LAPP – EY Hong Kong Emerging Market Insights Series. It is presented by HKUST IEMS with support by HKUST Leadership and Public Policy Programs (LAPP) and EY. Check out the next event in the series at



The Greek crisis has features that should not be new to economists or policy makers. A state within a monetary union, which has a common currency and common monetary policy, has run huge debts which it cannot repay, debts mostly owed to its partners within the Union. What does the country do, and what do the partner countries do?

The peculiarities of the Eurozone and the premature adoption of the monetary union 15 years ago open up a host of issues in relation to this crisis, such as:

  • Should Greece be allowed to default on its debts?
  • Should Greece be forced to leave the union in order to issue its own currency and pay off its debts using the drachma?
  • Should Greece give up its sovereign powers in exchange for a bailout, essentially allowing its partners to run Greece’s domestic policy?

The answers to these questions have implications for the future of the Eurozone and the European Union as a whole. In this talk, Sir Christopher will discuss the approach currently pursued by the European Union, and its implication for Greece’s economic revival and future growth.


About the Speaker

Prof Sir Christopher Pissarides is the winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics (co-awarded with Dale Mortensen of Northwestern University and Peter Diamond of MIT for their work in the economics of markets with frictions), Regius Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics, Professor of European Studies at the University of Cyprus, Chairman of the Council of National Economy of the Republic of Cyprus, IAS Helmut & Anna Pao Sohmen Professor-at-Large of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and HKUST IEMS Faculty Associate. He specializes in the economics of labor markets, macroeconomic policy, economic growth, and structural change.

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Photo credit: Duncan Hull / Flickr. CC BY 2.0.

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