Turkish economist, former head of the United Nations Development Programme and former Minister of Economic Affairs of Turkey, Kemal Dervis, who holds the reputation of “a good manager” that helped Turkey overcome its financial crisis fifteen years ago, was in Athens last week to deliver a lecture organized by the Athens Development and Governance Institute. In his presentation, “The Future of Europe beyond Multiple Crises: A way forward“, Dervis, currently VP and Director of the Global Economy and Development Program at the Brookings Institution, underlined the importance of ‘confidence’ and solidarity in order for Greece and Europe to tackle the most pressing issues faced today. 

Speaking to ANA-MPA ahead of his lecture, Dervis expressed optimism that Greece can recover not only in financial, but also in political terms. He pointed out that the painful economic and financial adjustment that Greece had to make was necessary, and almost complete from a macroscopic perspective. He explained that the two most important elements for moving forward are “good economic management and giving people confidence”, meaning that there needs to be a clear strategy that will be implemented by non-politicized management.

Concerning the current refugee crisis, Dervis emphasized  that the EU and Turkey need to build a permanent relationship, “not just a transactional one”, because Europe and Turkey, and in particular “Turkish Democracy, the Turkish young people” need one another, “in order to manage the whole region, the problems, the security, the refugees”. 

An open advocate for the evolution of the EU into a European Federation, Dervis noted that “Europe needs to combine social solidarity, European humanist values with a very competitive, growth-oriented economy” and points out that today, new ideas are coming especially from the European left, at a time when Europe needs “a new generation of politicians, political leaders who engage Europe as a whole from a national base, but as real Europeans”.

Read more: Interview at ANA-MPA