Thomas Wieser

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Thomas Wieser
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.


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

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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.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
  2. "Eurogroup Working Group - Consilium".
  3. "EUROPA - President". Archived from the original on 2012-10-19.
  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