Students Staff

27 January 2015

Essex alumni set to play lead roles in new Greek government

Essex graduates are set to be influential members of the government being formed by Syriza - the party which won the Greek elections.

The number of Essex connections led BBC Radio Four's Today programme to interview Executive Dean for the Faculty of Social Sciences Professor Todd Landman about the strength of our links to Greece. (interview starts after 1 hourr 23 minutes)

Economist Yanis Varoufakis, who completed a BSc and PhD at Essex, has been appointed Greece’s new Finance Minister.

Meanwhile, fellow Essex graduate Rena Dourou is another high profile member of Syriza. Until the election she was the only member of Syriza to hold high office having been elected governor of Attica, the region that surrounds Athens, in May 2014. Ms Dourou completed her MA Ideology and Discourse Analysis in the Department of Government in 2001,

Another Essex graduate Fotini Vaki has been elected as a Syriza MP to represent the island of Corfu.

Both Ms Dourou and Mr Varoufakis have been interviewed extensively including BBC Radio Four’s Today programme.

Ms Dorou told Today presenter John Humphrys: "We are going to pay our debt...sometimes I'm thinking this is the easy way to leave the European Union, but we follow the hard way because we know we are fighting the name of the Greek society and the name of the European Union".

Mr Varoufakis explained to Today: “We will take to the eurozone a plan for minimising this Greek debacle, we are going to put three or four things on the table: genuine reforms and creating a rational plan for debt restructure. We want to bind our repayments to our growth.”

Essex has historically strong links with Greece with close to 4,000 Greeks within our alumni community and several staff with strong links to the country. Economics has traditionally been one of the most popular subject areas for Greeks choosing to study at Essex.


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