The Greek economy: A macro view
Season 3, Ep. 6
The Greek economy is back in focus on this episode of The Agora as we take a peak at the 2022 budget and a closer look at broader trends and challenges.MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis provides a whistlestop tour of the budget, explaining its key elements and what obstacles the Greek government's economic plan could encounter next year.Two men with extensive knowledge of the Greek economy, Bob Traa and Jens Bastian, join us for a broad discussion about causes for optimism, but also reasons to be cautious as 2022 beckons, including low productivity, high unemployment and limited prospects at home for young Greeks.Bob was the IMF’s senior representative in Greece at the outset of the economic crisis, between 2010 and 2013. He has also written a book about the country's economic challenges (more below).Jens is a senior policy adviser at the ELIAMEP think-tank in Athens. He also works an independent economic analyst.Mentioned on this episode:The series of articles by Bob & Jens for MacroPolis: https://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora&t=46Bob Traa's book: https://www.amazon.com/Macroeconomy-Greece-Odysseus-Journey-Sustainability/dp/B089CSJCL4Bob's article on migration shifts in the EU: https://www.macropolis.gr/?i=portal.en.the-agora.11150Jens's publications for ELIAMEP: https://www.eliamep.gr/en/members/jens-bastian/
Earth, wind & fire – Greece, clean energy & the climate crisis
Season 3, Ep. 5
In the wake of the COP26 meeting, The Agora analyses what Greece brought to the discussion and how this tallies with the efforts being made on the ground to tackle the climate crisis.The head of policy at WWF Greece, Theodota Nantsou, evaluates the Greek authorities' actions.With the help of journalist Evridiki Bersi, we also take a closer look at wind power and why there are concerns about how this form of renewable energy is being expanded in Greece.First, though, we start with a look back at this summer's devastating wildfires in Greece. Documentary photographer Thodoris Nikolaou tells us what he witnessed in northern Evia, which suffered the most extensive destruction in August.Show notes:Kyriakos Mitsotakis at COP26: https://youtu.be/iBvhVsb5WTkEvridiki's article on wind power for Reporters United: https://www.reportersunited.gr/en/6557/too-much-of-a-good-thing-wind-power-and-the-battle-for-greeces-wild-heart/Thodoris's feature on the Evia wildfires for News247: Η καμένη Εύβοια είναι οι άνθρωποί της (news247.gr)WWF Greece's reaction to PM's COP26 speech: https://www.wwf.gr/ta_nea_mas/?uNewsID=4998416
So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen Angela Merkel
Season 3, Ep. 4
The outgoing German Chancellor Angela Merkel was a ubiquitous figure during the Greek crisis, often making her a target for the frustrations generated by the austerity policies she and her party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), advocated.Some of that is water under the bridge now and her recent visit to Athens was accompanied by compliments and diplomatic niceties.As she continues her farewell tour, before a coalition led by the Social Democratic Party (SPD) assumes power in Berlin, we look back at the legacy of Merkel’s rocky relationship with Greece, during which she dealt with six different Greek Prime Ministers, and where it leaves ties between Berlin and Athens.Input comes from the head of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation’s (KAS) office in Athens, Henri-Giscard Bohnet, and Christos Katsioulis, who was in charge of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation’s (FES) office in the Greek capital between 2012 and 2017, at the height of Greece’s economic crisis.Useful links:Konrad Adenaeur Foundation Office, Greece: https://www.kas.de/en/web/griechenlandFriedrich Ebert Foundation Office, Greece: https://athens.fes.de/gr/gia-mas/to-fes-stin-ellada
Planes, frigates and assistance clauses - Greece's new defence deals and the Turkish reaction
Season 3, Ep. 3
Greece recently signed two major defence deals, one with France and another with the USA. On this episode, Nick Malkoutzis and Phoebe Fronista examine the significance and implications of these agreements.MacroPolis foreign policy analyst Alexandra Voudouri explains why we should take note of these pacts, which include the purchase of at least three new French frigates. Alexandra also looks at some of the criticism about the accords and takes a broader look at the direction of Greek foreign policy.When signing both defence agreements, Athens clearly had its relations with Turkey in mind. To get a better understanding of how these developments have gone down in Turkey, Nick spoke to Aydin Selcen, an Istanbul-based commentator and former diplomat.Also, Turkish journalist and writer Mehves Evin spoke to The Agora about the domestic difficulties troubling President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and how this may feed into Ankara's actions in the Aegean and beyond.
The lives and legacy of Mikis Theodorakis
Season 3, Ep. 2
Earlier this month, Greece lost one of the most emblematic figures of its modern era, composer Mikis Theodorakis, who died on September 2 at the age of 96.Theodorakis was a multi-talented and multi-faceted figure who left his mark due to his radical politics and public interventions as well as his ground-breaking music, which blended Greek popular sounds with classic elements.On this show, we take a closer look at the influence of this prolific, towering figure. Phoebe Fronista speaks to Dr Panos Stavrianides, an entrepreneur, educator and active member of the Greek American diaspora about the impact Theodorakis’s music and political stance had on him and other Greeks living abroad.Also, Nick Malkoutzis speaks to Dimitris A. Sotiropoulos, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Athens and senior research fellow at the ELIAMEP think-tank, about what impact Theodorakis had on the public sphere and shaping modern Greece’s identity. Their discussion also touches on whether the composer’s passing marks the end of the public intellectual in Greece, and whether this matters.This episode also is interspersed with Theodrakis’s music, much of which is played by the Mandragoras group in Frankfurt, Germany and Achilleas and Nino Anastasiades.Mandragoras: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mandragoras.hannover/Achilleas and Nino Anastasiades: https://www.youtube.com/user/achanast/featuredMore background on TheodorakisBBC documentary by Maria Margaronis: Mikis Theodorakis Remembered: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w3ct2ptyThe Guardian obituary by Gail Holst-Warhaft: https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/sep/02/mikis-theodorakis-obituaryMikis, a Greek for all by Nikos Konstandaras: https://www.ekathimerini.com/opinion/1167289/mikis-a-greek-for-all/
Yearning for a normal Greek summer
Season 3, Ep. 1
The long, hot Greek summer is underway. But will it be like the summers we have grown to love or will Covid-19 get in the way again?The Agora podcast is back: Co-hosts Nick Malkoutzis and Phoebe Fronista launch the third season by trying to find out whether Greece has cause to feel optimistic this summer.Phoebe speaks to the manager of a private beach in southern Athens to find out if the customers are returning and how his business is coping with another summer blighted by the pandemic.Nick speaks to MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis about the broader picture for Greece, looking at the expectations not just for the tourism sector, but for the economy as a whole, especially now that EU recovery funds are on the way.
Greece's year of trying to shake off Covid-19
Season 2, Ep. 10
Greece has been grappling with the coronavirus for just over a year, sometimes with success but other times less convincingly.As Greece went past 10,000 Covid-related deaths and prepares to reach 3 million vaccinations this week, The Agora looks back at what's gone right and wrong since Covid-19 first emerged.Nick Malkoutzis speaks to MacroPolis co-founder Yiannis Mouzakis and features editor Georgia Nakou about the policies adopted since last year to combat the pandemic, but also why Greece is coming out of lockdown now and how the vaccination scheme is going.Phoebe Fronista spends time with health correspondent Maria-Niki Georgantato discuss what stood out from Greece's experience with the virus.Phoebe also speaks to Dr Mata Tsikrika, the first woman to be elected president of Greece's pulmonologists, who works at a Covid hospital in Athens. They talk about what life has been like for Greek frontline workers since last year and the excruciating decisions faced by doctors and nurses.
The heavy arm of the law: Police brutality in Greece
Season 2, Ep. 9
The behaviour of the Greek police has come under scrutiny, again, following a number of incidents over which officers have been accused of using unnecessary and excessive force.In this episode, we take a look at why police tactics have triggered public protests, what ails the force and how it can be fixed.MacroPolis features editor Georgia Nakou speaks to co-host Phoebe Fronista about recent events and what kind of political reactions they have stirred.Photojournalists Louisa Gouliamaki and Nikos Palaiologos describe their experiences with the police at street level while covering demonstrations.Finally, Pavlos Eleftheriadis, a professor of Public Law at Oxford University who has also dabbled in Greek politics, explains why he thinks the police's problems mirror those in other parts of the public administration and how some, but not others, are being addressed by the government.
Long live the revolution: The legacy of Greece's 1821 war of independence
Season 2, Ep. 8
Greece is celebrating the 200th anniversary of its war of independence, which began in 1821 and allowed Greeks to free themselves of Ottoman rule and oppression, and form their own nation-state.To mark this occasion, we spoke to Sakis Gekas, the Hellenic Heritage Foundation (HHF) Chair of Modern Greek History at York University in Canada. He told The Agora about where the Greek revolution stands in an international context as well as some of the broader themes to emerge from the momentous events two centuries ago.We have avoided going into historical detail because this is well served by various documentaries, online events and other podcasts that are currently available. One of those is "The idea of Greece", a seven-part podcast produced by the HHF's History Committee and in which Professor Gekas was involved.For the second half of this episode, we try to move the conversation forward by talking to Kathimerini columnist Nikos Konstandaras about the Greek revolution's legacy, where Greece stands today and what its future might hold.