The first Financial Conference was organised by the Economic Forum of Thrace (E.F.T.) in Alexandroupolis, the capital of Evros in the North East of Greece. It took place September 14, 2009. The conference centre, the Thraki Palace Hotel, offered an ideal location by the sea.
Before the conference, Dr. Ackermann accepted the degree of a doctor honoris causa of the Democritus University of Thrace, where he highlighted in his acceptance speech the importance of cooperation between all the relevant important parts of our society and the need to work together in order to achieve growth which would benefit to all parts of our society. Globalisation should lead to economic progress as well as to benefits to all parts of the population. He talked about the necessity to enlarge the G7 to the G20, relevant decisions need more support than just by the Western nations, the world has changed.
Katerina Karajanni, president of the E.F.T., opened the conference. She delivered her vision to promote the region of Thrace and to offer a forum for a dialogue between leading persons of the economy and other important representatives of our society. The E.F.T. stands for an ongoing discussion between relevant personalities in order to achieve economic growth as well as a sustainable social development.
The renowned Greek journalist Panagis Galiatsatos then presented the participants of the panel discussion:
Dr. Josef Ackermann, Chief Executive of Deutsche Bank
Yannis Verginis, Consul honoraire du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg, entrepreneur
A.Papazilakis, President of EVROFARMA
D.Chionis, Dean of the Department of International Economics and Development
A.Giannakidou, Founder – Manager Ethnological Museum of Thrace
First, Dr. Ackermann reiterated his pledge for a global cooperation. Discussing the banking sector specifically, he was prepared to implement changes. That could mean a higher capital ratio for banks that would lead to more protection in a future crisis as well as well defined rules for the compensation of top managers, which should lead to more long-term responsibility.
Ms. Giannakidou questioned the actual economic policy and asked if it is really beneficial for all Greeks and whether more regulation is necessary.
Mr. Papazilakis explained how the Thracian industry managed to go through a difficult period where banks have been quite restrictive in handing out credits for the industry.
Professor Chionis highlighted the contribution of the university all along the economic crisis and presented hints how to improve the situation. He talked about the ways to introduce regulation for the banking sector and the important question who should go ahead.
Mr. Verginis brought this subject to a point and asked directly who should set the rules in the future. Should the managers try to solve the current problems by self-regulation or should politicians set the rules?
Dr. Ackermann responded that too much regulation could be harmful for future growth, but acknowledged lessons from the financial crisis have to be learnt.
An important result from the conference was the question who should set up rules in order to avoid a second global crisis. We, the E.F.T. firmly believe that is mandatory for politicians and managers to cooperate for the benefit of the society. Only together we are able to improve our economy and the future of our children.
A Gala Dinner followed and the 200 participants of the conference had the opportunity to talk about the economy with the prominent guests from Greece an abroad. Thracian children gave an impressive performance showing dances from the region.
The E.F.T. will certainly continue to host interesting financial conferences in the future, bringing together important guests from Thrace, Greece and abroad.