Greeks hold the record for the most traffic accidents, smokers and various other such negatives, but are also avid learners and, above all, make great sacrifices to give their children the best education possible. Of the 8,000 students that register every year at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), 215 are Greeks, mostly postgraduate students. Among the Greek alumni and faculty of the LSE are 13 Nobel laureates and 29 current and past heads of state and government. They include Prime Minister Costas Simitis, PASOK President George A. Papandreou, Dr Spyros Latsis, Marianna Latsi, Bank of Greece Governor Nicholas Garganas, and candidate deputy for the New Democracy party Professor Giorgos Alogoskoufis, to name just a few of those who hold senior posts in Greece’s political and business circles. Last Monday, February 16, the Greek alumni of the LSE gave their annual reception at the Ekali Club, with the LSE’s director, Sir Howard Davies, as guest of honor. Sir Howard was vice president of the Bank of England and was chairman of the City regulator at the Financial Services Authority of Britain. During Monday’s event, Sir Howard announced the foundation of a new course – Political Economy of Greece and Southeastern Europe – at the LSE’s Chair of Contemporary Greek Studies-Hellenic Observatory. The new course, which will focus on the history of economic and political events in Southeastern Europe and changes in its economies, has been made possible by contributions from EFG Eurobank-Ergasias, Global Finance, Viohalko, the Athens Medical Center, Germanos, Grecotel, Hellenic Petroleum, Coca-Cola and another benefactor who wishes to remain anonymous. «The LSE is in contact with some 1,700 Greek alumni and has a long tradition as the first academic choice of many Greek students,» Sir Howard said. «The Chair of Contemporary Greek Studies is an important international center of Greek studies. Our goal is to strengthen the existing links with your country, as Greece is strengthening its position in Europe and the world generally.» Other speakers included Kevin Featherstone, academic head of the Eleftherios Venizelos Chair of Contemporary Greek Studies and director of the Hellenic Observatory, who referred to studies on Greek affairs. «The goal of the Greek Studies Department is to become the nucleus of a broader network of Greek students coming into contact with all those involved in issues in modern Greek society,» he said.