OPINION

Pioneers have a role

The prospect of Bank of Greece Governor Lucas Papademos’s standing as candidate for the vice presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB) has been welcomed in international circles due to his long experience of European financial affairs. Big banking institutions know him as the author of the first report on the single currency and one of the authors of the ECB charter. Furthermore, finance bodies have been following his actions with respect to crucial issues of European monetary policy both in the pre-euro period and after the launch of the single currency. In addition, he has high qualifications and valuable credentials, which include academic and scientific distinctions. Papademos was a colleague of economics Nobel Prize winner Franco Modigliani and has served as an adviser at the US Federal Reserve. More generally, his presence at international conferences has built a strong basis of support for his candidacy, not only in Greece but also abroad. This may also be the most important message of Papademos’s candidacy. In the new, globalized world, at the time of large integrated wholes and open systems, leaders and pioneers have a role to play. Marginalization and fear are not the only hallmarks of the new era, as many pessimists assert. Competition, a strong presence and active participation are part of the picture. The eurozone environment does not necessarily entail a catastrophe, marginalization and subjugation for Greece but rather signals a great opportunity for transcending our narrow, often depressing, national boundaries. It is a chance for rebirth and creativity, a domain open to the exploitation of skills and abilities. This, of course, presupposes a reorganization of Greece’s economic and social structure, which itself requires continuous and consistent effort, knowledge, dedication, responsibility and high quality. Should these requirements be met, this little land is bound to benefit in the future. This will once again demonstrate what economists have often said: that – provided it fulfills the conditions of quality and credibility – a small entity which is incorporated into a larger one has endless opportunities.