At the end of the 4-day process of the 5th Simulation Conference of the European Central Bank for students on 13/12, a series of announcements will follow for the speakers who honored us with their presence at the training day and contributed to this constructive experience for the students. Following the series of speeches, we would like to thank warmly:
- Mr. Giannis Stournaras, governor of the BoG
- Mr. Demosthenes Ioannou, Senior Lead Economist, Directorate General International ECB
- Mrs. Charoula Apalagaki, General Secretary of ΕΕΤ (Hellenic Bank Association)
- Mr. Marios Psaltis, CEO of PwC Greece
- Mrs. Athena Hadjipetrou, CEO of HDB and
- Mr. Nikolaos Peppas, Deputy Regional Minister of Finance of Attica
for their support and speeches on the opening day of the 5th ECB Simulation Conference.
Mr. Stournaras, Governor of the Bank of Greece, in his speech referred to the review of the ECB strategy, which was completed in July 2021, with the new inflation target been set at 2% in the medium term. The commitment to this goal is symmetrical, meaning that negative and positive deviations from it are equally undesirable. At the same time, Mr. Stournaras pointed out the importance of the Pandemic Emergency Purchase Program (PEPP) in overcoming the shock of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic crisis, but also the need for additional Fiscal Policy measures to achieve macroeconomic stability. Finally, Mr. Stournaras acknowledged the need to tackle climate change and stressed that the Bank of Greece is one of the first central banks in the world to have addressed climate change and sustainability, having set up a Committee on the Study of the Impact of Climate Change, since 2009 (“EMEKA”).
Mr. Ioannou, Senior Lead Economist General Directorate International at the European Central Bank, explained in his speech the way that the review of the ECB’s strategy was carried out, the parameters taken into account, as well as the results of the review. Mr. Ioannou, also, presented the monetary policy tools used by the ECB, focusing on Forward Guidance and emphasizing that the ECB makes a very careful choice of the vocabulary it uses, as its announcements can significantly affect the economy. Finally, Mr. Ioannou said that the ECB should be understood by all, and this is the reason why its media have been modernized, so that the general public can understand its goals and actions.
Ms. Apalagaki, General Secretary of the “EET” (Hellenic Banking Association), stressed in her speech the need to understand how the banking sector and businesses should adapt to climate change and the need to adopt ESG criteria in business models, something that will create many new challenges, but also opportunities for the Greek banking institutions, contributing to the green transition of the Greek economy. She, also, expressed the need to improve the relationship of the banking system with payment providers, while she pointed out the need to protect the banking system from cyber attacks and threats arising due to the digital transformation.
Mr. Psaltis, CEO of PwC Greece, in his speech referred to all the issues that occupied this year’s Conference. It began with a reference to the monetary policy pursued by the ECB in recent years, the impact of the pandemic crisis and the ECB’s response to it, as well as the rising levels of inflation currently facing all Eurozone countries. Mr. Psaltis, then, analyzed the challenges that the banking sector faces, due to the level of key interest rates, the amount of red loans and the new challenges related to digital transformation, climate change and the green transition. Finally, Mr. Psaltis pointed out that the ESG criteria can undoubtedly create various challenges for the banking institutions, but at the same time they provide the banking institutions with the opportunity, through the integration of the ESG criteria in their investment and lending decisions, to play a key role in the climate change and the promotion of responsible businesses.
Ms. Hadjipetrou, CEO of the Hellenic Development Bank, in her speech referred to the need of promoting policies which support the Greek economy, but also small businesses, using every available tool, in order to reduce the cost of business lending. In addition, she referred to the adoption of frameworks for the promotion and integration of ESG criteria in business models, through the awarding of companies that include them in their business activities. Finally, Ms. Hadjipetrou pointed out the increasing importance of the banking sector’s digitalization.
Mr. Nikolaos Peppas, Deputy Regional Minister of Finance of Attica, in his speech referred to the difficulties faced by the Region regarding the management of transition, the preparation of projects for the 16 municipalities of Attica, but also for the management of natural disasters due to climate change. In addition, he pointed out that the Region allocated 250 million euros to companies affected by the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic in the context of stimulating financial activity.