The piece about former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou due to teach at Columbia University is not flattering at all. Fox News is biting and stresses that Papandreou “was at the helm when Greece’s economic ship smashed on the rocks of fiscal ruin, has landed a job at Columbia University teaching, of all things, how to govern financial crisis.”
Greek tragedy? Papandreou to lecture Ivy Leaguers on leading in crisis
The Ivy League school announced the move with great fanfare last month, calling Greece a “living laboratory” for key global public policy challenges. Papandreou, who led Greece from October 2009 through November 2011, is teaching a course on the European financial crisis and will host a lecture Wednesday on “Bailouts and Ballots: The New Challenges to Democracy and the Case of Europe.”
Bringing in the man who led Greece when its economy cratered — and then went begging for bailouts — had some critics second-guessing the Manhattan school. Well before taking office, Papandreou, whose father and grandfather were also prime ministers, was also a top leader of the Socialist party whose policies led to Greece’s metastacizing financial problems.
“It’s good that students get to know firsthand knowledge of someone who was in the situation,” said Matthew Melchiorre, an expert on European economic affairs at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. “But they’ve also got to take into account that his party has been responsible for the growth in government excess that has been a problem since 1981. The unsustainable promises his party made to the Greek people have now come home to roost. He’s been intimately involved in creating all of the problems that Greece now has today.”
“He’s been intimately involved in creating all of the problems that Greece now has today.” – Matthew Melchiorre, Competitive Enterprise Institute
For Columbia, Papandreou is more a trophy than a tutor, according to Desmond Lachman, a resident fellow at American Enterprise Institute. In fact, Lachman said, he might be better qualified to teach what not to do.
“I have no idea what he [Papandreou] is going to be teaching,” said Lachman. “But one thing he shouldn’t be teaching is how to run an economy. He might want to teach them how to run an economy into the ground.”
Papandreou’s biggest mistake, Lachman said, was failing to recognize that Greece’s mammoth debt was unsustainable. (Full story Fox News)
“It’s a great privilege to welcome George Papandreou to our community as a SIPA Global Fellow,” Dean Robert Lieberman said in a statement. “Greece today is a living laboratory for some of the key global public policy challenges of our time — including economic policy, social policy, and more — and I know our students and faculty look forward to learning about decision-making at the very highest level.”
PS As lab-rat blogging from crisis-hit Greece, KTG offers its services to Columbia students: my Engish is not perfect but I can offer an insight view on how the real crisis looks like. And thus for a much better price than the former PM. -price negotiable but yet much cheaper 🙂