Thomas Wieser

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Thomas Wieser
DOORSTEP - INFORMAL MEETING OF MINISTERS FOR ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS (Informal ECOFIN) 2016-09-10 (29578778645).jpg
Personal details
Born1954 (age 6465)
Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.
Alma mater University of Innsbruck
University of Colorado, Boulder

Thomas Wieser (born 1954) is an American-Austrian economist working for the European Union. He was the president of Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) of the EU as well as the president of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), both advisory bodies of the Eurogroup, until February 2018. [1]

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. Its members have a combined area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated total population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

Economic and Financial Committee (European Union) advisory body of the European Union

The Economic and Financial Committee (EFC) is a European Union advisory body, defined by the article 134 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. In 2012 Thomas Wieser because the committee's President, he is simultaneously the President of Eurogroup Working Group. Vincenzo La Via became Vice-President in July 2015.

Eurogroup Working Group (EWG) is an advisory body to the Eurogroup of the European Union. It is composed of representatives of the euro area member states of the Economic and Financial Committee (EFC), the European Commission and the European Central Bank. The President of the Eurogroup Working Group is Hans Vijlbrief, who entered the job in February 2018 and is also the President of the EFC. Previously, the posts had been held by Thomas Wieser.

Contents

Political career

Between 2005 and 2009, Wieser chaired the OECD Committee on Financial Markets. [1] Wieser became Vice-President of Economic and Financial Committee of the European Union (EFC) in November 2005. He went on to serve his first term as the President of the committee from March 2009 to March 2011. [1]

Prior to October 2011, Wieser was Director General for Economic Policy and Financial Markets in the Ministry of Finance, Austria. [1] In October 2011, Wieser became the full time president of the Eurogroup Working Group (EWG), an advisory body to the Eurogroup. [2] [1] In January 2012, Wieser started his second term as the president of the EFC [1] [3] of the European Union, he retain presidency of the EWG. [1]

Ministry of Finance (Austria) Austrian ministry

The Ministry of Finance is the cabinet-level ministry for finance of Austria. Its seat is at the former city palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in the Austrian capital Vienna. The current Minister is Hartwig Löger.

Explaining his negotiating role Wieaser has stated: [4]

I am something like a marriage counsellor who tries – between two or several partners, if one accepts polygamy – to achieve a common understanding of things and seeks to make sure that perational implementation gets underway

The EFC pre-agrees Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) decisions on eurozone affairs. [5] [ dubious ] In 2014, Wieser stated that Europe was having an economic recovery but competitiveness should be strengthened, bank balance sheets should be improved and fiscal deficits reduced. [6]

Economic and Financial Affairs Council configuration of the Council of the European Union

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) is one of the oldest configurations of the Council of the European Union and is composed of the economics and finance ministers of the 28 European Union member states, as well as Budget Ministers when budgetary issues are discussed.

Notable commentary

Former Greek minister of finance Yanis Varoufakis has claimed that Wieser holds considerable power within the Eurogroup, stating he "has been part of every policy and every coup that resulted in Greece’s immolation and Europe’s ignominy." [7] Sven Giegold, MEP of the German Green Party, has stated in his correspondence with Varoufakis that Wieser "is acting under the auspices of representatives of all finance ministries in the Eurozone which form the Eurozone Working Group.[ sic ]" [8] Reflecting on the actions of the Troika in an interview with German journalists, Wieser blamed an excessively high minimum wage in Greece for the decrease in employment in the exporting sector. [9]

Greece republic in Southeast Europe

Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, also known as Hellas, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of 2018; Athens is the nation's capital and largest city, followed by Thessaloniki.

Ministry of Finance (Greece) Greek government ministry

The Ministry of Finance is the government department responsible for Greece's public finances. The incumbent minister is Christos Staikouras of New Democracy.

Yanis Varoufakis Greek politician and economist

Ioannis Georgiou "Yanis" Varoufakis is a Greek economist, academic and politician. He has been Secretary-General of MeRA25, a left-wing political party, since he founded it in 2018. A former member of Syriza, he served as Minister of Finance from January to July 2015 under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. Varoufakis was a member of the Hellenic Parliament for Athens B from January to September 2015; he regained a parliamentary seat in July 2019.

See also

Related Research Articles

Eurozone Area in which the euro is the official currency

The eurozone, officially called the euro area, is a monetary union of 19 of the 28 European Union (EU) member states which have adopted the euro (€) as their common currency and sole legal tender. The monetary authority of the eurozone is the Eurosystem. The other nine members of the European Union continue to use their own national currencies, although most of them are obliged to adopt the euro in the future.

History of the euro

The euro came into existence on 1 January 1999, although it had been a goal of the European Union (EU) and its predecessors since the 1960s. After tough negotiations, particularly due to opposition from the United Kingdom, the Maastricht Treaty entered into force in 1993 with the goal of creating an economic and monetary union by 1999 for all EU states except the UK and Denmark.

European debt crisis Multi-year debt crisis in multiple EU countries, since late 2009

The European debt crisis is a multi-year debt crisis that has been taking place in the European Union since the end of 2009. Several eurozone member states were unable to repay or refinance their government debt or to bail out over-indebted banks under their national supervision without the assistance of third parties like other eurozone countries, the European Central Bank (ECB), or the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union economic union and policies

The Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) is an umbrella term for the group of policies aimed at converging the economies of member states of the European Union at three stages. The policies cover the 19 eurozone states, as well as non-euro European Union states.

European Financial Stability Facility

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) is a special purpose vehicle financed by members of the eurozone to address the European sovereign-debt crisis. It was agreed by the Council of the European Union on 9 May 2010, with the objective of preserving financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to eurozone states in economic difficulty. The Facility's headquarters are in Luxembourg City, as are those of the European Stability Mechanism. Treasury management services and administrative support are provided to the Facility by the European Investment Bank through a service level contract. Since the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism, the activities of the EFSF are carried out by the ESM.

European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism

The European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism (EFSM) is an emergency funding programme reliant upon funds raised on the financial markets and guaranteed by the European Commission using the budget of the European Union as collateral. It runs under the supervision of the Commission and aims at preserving financial stability in Europe by providing financial assistance to member states of the European Union in economic difficulty.

European Stability Mechanism organization

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is an intergovernmental organization located in Luxembourg City, which operates under public international law for all eurozone Member States having ratified a special ESM intergovernmental treaty. It was established on 27 September 2012 as a permanent firewall for the eurozone, to safeguard and provide instant access to financial assistance programmes for member states of the eurozone in financial difficulty, with a maximum lending capacity of €700 billion.

Jeroen Dijsselbloem Dutch politician

Jeroen René Victor Anton Dijsselbloem is a Dutch politician and economist serving as Chairman of the Dutch Safety Board since 1 May 2019. A member of the Labour Party (PvdA), he has also been Chairman of the supervisory board of Wageningen University since 1 April 2019.

A Greek withdrawal from the eurozone was a hypothetical scenario under which Greece would withdraw from the Eurozone to deal with the now expired Greek government-debt crisis. This conjecture has been referred to as "Grexit", a portmanteau combining the English words "Greek" and "exit", and which has been expressed in Greek as ελλέξοδος,. The term "Graccident" was coined for the case that Greece exited the EU and the euro unintentionally. These terms first came into use in 2012 and have been revitalised at each of the bailouts made available to Greece since then.

The Third Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece, usually referred to as the third bailout package or the third memorandum, is a memorandum of understanding on financial assistance to the Hellenic Republic in order to cope with the Greek government-debt crisis.

Euclid Tsakalotos Greek economist and politician

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George Chouliarakis, also transliterated as Giorgos Houliarakis, is a Greek academic and politician who is currently an Alternate Minister of Finance in the Second Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras, serving under Euclid Tsakalotos. Chouliarakis was formerly the interim Minister of Finance in the caretaker government led by Vassiliki Thanou-Christophilou.

Mário Centeno Portuguese economist and politician

Mário José Gomes de Freitas Centeno is a Portuguese economist, university professor, and politician. Since 2015, he has been Minister of Finance of Portugal. Since 2018, he has been president of the Eurogroup and Chairman of the Board of Governors of the European Stability Mechanism. Previously, he was a board member economist of the Bank of Portugal.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 https://europa.eu/efc/content/president_en
  2. "Eurogroup Working Group - Consilium".
  3. "EUROPA - President". Archived from the original on 2012-10-19.
  4. http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/50151/1/blogs.lse.ac.uk-The_European_Council_has_become_the_new_centre_of_political_gravity_in_EU_decisionmaking.pdf
  5. Schwarzer, Daniela (24 November 2006) Institutionalisation through the back door, Eurozone Watch (saved from Internet Archive)
  6. "Dr Thomas Wieser, President of the Eurogroup Working Group and President, Economic and Finance Committee in Japan". EU – Delegation of the European Union to Japan.
  7. "The IMF confesses it immolated Greece on behalf of the Eurogroup". openDemocracy. 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  8. "On The Problems Of European Democracy And How To Solve Them". Social Europe. 2016-02-09. Retrieved 2016-08-10.
  9. GREEXMEDIA. "Die Troika - Macht ohne Kontrolle │ Die Wahrheit über den Umgang mit der Eurokrise" via YouTube.

Further reading