FINANCIAL FORUM – “SOVEREIGN DEBT: GREECE, THE EUROZONE AND RECENT DEVELOPMENTS”

On 17th March, the Financial Forum of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce celebrated its fourth gathering, which was held this time at the offices of White & Case, members of the Spanish Chamber.

The Financial Forum, which has been running for one year now, already counts on 26 permanent members from banks and investment funds such as Banco Santander, BBVA, Caixabank, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Société Générale, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan among others, as well as top companies from different sectors like Ferrovial, Dragados or Deloitte.

The Financial Forum celebrated its fourth gathering in White & Case offices.

The Financial Forum celebrated its fourth gathering in White & Case offices.

In this edition the topic was “Sovereign Debt: Greece, the Eurozone and Other Recent Developments”. The President of the Financial Forum, Professor Ahmad Rahnema from IESE BUSINESS SCHOOL, introduced three schools of thought to frame the topic: Greece would have to exit the Euro, re-implement Dracma and have the control back on their monetary policy; secondly the decision of Greece leaving the EU may have already been taken; and as a third option, Greece would remain within the Euro as the current situation is considered a political issue and middle ground would be agreed.

Dr. Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal, Professor on Financial and Banking Law at the Queen Mary University of London kicked off the debate with a brief presentation providing an overview of the current Greek situation together with some highlights from other global conflicted economies such as Argentina, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Professor Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal made a brief presentation about the topic, being Mrs. Inmaculada López, Head of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy on the left and Professor Ahmad Rahnema, President of the Financial Forum on the right.

From left to right: Mrs. Inmaculada López, Head of the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy, Dr. Rodrigo Olivares-Caminal from Queen Mary University, and Professor Ahmad Rahnema from IESE, President of the Financial Forum.

He explained that Greece currently owes €315bn, from which 72% belongs to Public Sector. Debt has already been restructured as interest rates have decreased and a debt roll-out has taken place. However, this situation generates a major challenge as this is not only an economical or financial issue, but also a political and social one.

Once the debate was opened, interactions focused on sharing different points of view as well as to question alternatives and develop a critical opinion towards the situation. Real consequences of the potential exit of Greece from the Eurozone were discussed, not only for the country itself and its inhabitants, but also for Spain and the rest of the EU countries with an acknowledgment of new political parties, such as Syriza or Podemos in Spain.

Members of the forum had time to mingle and continue the discussion while enjoying a nice cocktail.

Members of the forum had time to mingle and continue the discussion while enjoying a nice cocktail.

Before the event closure, the participants of the Financial Forum had time to mingle and keep on with the discussion while enjoying Spanish wine, courtesy of White & Case.

We would like to extend our gratitude to White & Case for kindly hosting this event as well as to all our members and special guests for their participation, which made this edition of the Financial Forum one to remember.

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