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Responding to the petition to disinvite George Papandreou from TEDGlobal

Posted by: Tedstaff

An online petition was posted early this past weekend, asking that “the TEDGlobal conference organizers remove George Papandreou from the speakers list.”

Papandreou is the former prime minister of Greece. He was prime minister in 2009, when the euro crisis flared up. Under pressure from the markets and from Greek citizens protesting harsh austerity measures, he resigned in 2011 to make way for a national unity government.

He has been invited to share his views on these events and other themes at TEDGlobal 2013, which will take place in three weeks. With all due respect for those who have signed the petition, the TEDGlobal program won’t change. Papandreou’s experience as the PM of his country during a phase of political and economic turmoil is an interesting lens into the broader problems that continue to trouble Europe. That’s why we invited him to TEDGlobal. What he learned from his period in office gives him a rare insiders’ viewpoint, at a crucial moment for the continent.

For the record, any politicians coming to TED are asked to give a talk that is framed around ideas and insights, rather than partisanship. And like all our speakers, Papandreou is not being paid to speak at TEDGlobal.

Comments (44)

  • Tino El commented on May 22 2013

    @Makis Spiliopoulos

    Dear friend,
    at the moment I’m in Ireland. Since you are very informed about the world around you.
    - http://www.publicpolicy.ie/the-minimum-wage-in-ireland/
    here you can learn about the minimum wage
    [Since July 2011, the Minimum Wage guarantees an hourly wage of €8.65 to adult employees over the eighteen with at least two years previous employment experience. For teenagers under the age of eighteen, this wage guarantee is €6.06 per hour]

    -http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/unemployed_people/jobseekers_allowance.html
    here you may be informed for the unemployment benefit if you were paid 600 -> 481 euro

    - http://www.tesco.ie/groceries/product/search/default.aspx?searchBox=milk&N=4294955512
    here you can learn the prices of a supermarket [same maybe less than Greece]

    - http://www.icos.ie/supply-chain/global/
    here you can learn about irish agri-food sector:
    __The agri-food sector still accounts for around 25% of net foreign earnings.
    __In 2010 food exports were valued at almost €8 billion. The Government’s target is to grow this figure to €12 billion by 2020.
    __85% of Irish dairy products are exported.
    __The dairy sector is worth >€3 billion to the Irish economy.
    __Beef and milk production account for almost 60% of Irish agricultural output at producer prices.
    next time get informed dear boy… and I feel sorry for you and Greek people

  • Yanis Zavakos commented on May 22 2013

    I wouldn’t disagree with TED if they invited Papandreou to participate in a debate.

    Papandreou won the 2009 election promising he wouldn’t reduce public spending (“money exists”) only to lead Greece into the arms of the IMF and to a devastating austerity.

    Would you invite Hitler to draw on lessons learnt from the holocaust?

    • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 22 2013

      Why don’t you post us the FULL video of “money exists” (no comment on the english…) and tell us in what you really disagree.

      Because as I recall he said “there is money” if you know where to search. If we reduce tax evasion, if we tax offshores, if we manage to collect unpaid taxes, if we manage to reduce beaurocracy, if we manage to reduce corruption.

      You can blame him for not being able to do the all the above in 2 years. You can blame him for not doing in 2 years what nobody did in 200 years. But this isolating the phrase “there is money” is just a silly propaganda for the kindergarden.

      As for the “Hitler” quote…I rest my case. It is indicative of your spiritual level.

      • Christos Pastelas commented on May 22 2013

        Please, be polite! Everybody else is…

      • Yanis Zavakos commented on May 22 2013

        Having in mind to reduce tax evasion, corruption, etc he approached Dominique Strauss-Kahn…

        • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 22 2013

          Well Yanis, recently Samaras said “ουδείς αναμάρτητος” whereas Tsipras said he would ally with he devil to save his country. I guess you have the same feelings for them as well.

      • chris kappa commented on May 22 2013

        I actually just registered to reply to your outrageous arguments and your desperte attempt to paint a portrait of GAP as some ‘hero’ and lone rider type of ‘integrity’ among a pack of corrupt Greek people. If my memory serves me right wasn’t GAP a high profile member of the PASOK party for 20+ years, as well as a minister in many ministries. I would have thought that during that long period something about the ‘corrupt’ people of Greece and the illicit practices in public administration should have caught his attention, don’t you think?? At some point you bring up Karamanlis, who I personally despise, as much as GAP, to get your point across. Let me refresh your selective memory a little. Didn’t he call all the Greek political leaders (including GAP) before the crisis broke out in 2009 calling for their clear backing for a package of austerity measures to avoid the iceberg? I am sure you remember what GAP said after the meeting, right? Remember what GAP did after coming to power for the first months? (and please, don’t give the usual hogwash that he didn’t know the state the economy was in, since this story has been debunked i.e meeting with Strauss Khan, Bank Of Greece Director telling both leaders about the size of the deficit etc). Let me refresh your memory once more: GAP went on a spree of increasing public spending and handing out more promises to the public!! At another point in your ‘valiant’, yet crude, attempt to defend GAP you say he is just speaking as a private citizen, and he is not speaking on behalf of the Greek people at TED. Again, has it slipped your memory that he is still a Greek PM and does represent his Patra constituents (although God knows how one can represent his voters when he has not set foot in Patra for the last 2 years!!!!). You even have the audacity to compare GAP with some of Greece’s national heroes!!!! Maybe we should erect a statue of GAP in Syntagma square!!!! You are truly astonishing sir!!!!

        • Elena Ladopoulou commented on May 22 2013

          Therefore the problem was not whatever was taking place in Greece in the past X years, but it was GAP who made it public.

          So, the Chairman of the Bank of Greece gathered Karamanlis and GAP to tell them “hey guys, Karamanlis is lying about the deficit” and the problem was GAP.

          And yes, Chris Kappa, we agree. When GAP got in power he tried to change exactly what you mentioned. Of course this did not make him popular. Cab owners, lorry owners, doctors, lawyers, he clashed with so many casts. You are so right!

          And yes, Chris Kappa, you are right again. When GAP got in power he increased spending. Yes, he paid a couple of billion euros out of the 5B he owed to hospital suppliers. Yes, the debt that Papathanasiou and Loverdos were wondering why was it paid. And paying (at least part of the government) debt was a fair thing to do. So we agree here as well.

          And last but not least, yes GAP is still an ELECTED MP (not PM). As there are ELECTED MPs from far left and elected MPs from far right. Unless you would feel more comfortable if only the ones you support were speaking…

        • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 22 2013

          OK…Now Chris Kappa is giving us another perspective. GAP is guilty for “going on a spree of increasing public spending.”. So wait a moment. Isn’t that exactly the opposite accusation against GAP from all the other commentators? That he imposed austerity? So now his both guilty for imposing austerity but also for public spending.

          Chris Kappa.

          Let me also refresh your mind. European Elections, June 2009. GAP says let’s go to double elections cause there is a crisis coming up and Karamanlis is not doing anything to prevent it. What was New Democracy response? The TV add with the little parrots assuring Greek people that there is no crisis coming and these are nonsense of the opposition. This is June 2009. Just TWO (2) months later he calls for general elections, saying what you quoted.

          What happened Christos Kappa? What happened in 2 months? Karamanlis realized the problem during his long summer vacation? What happened? And he is now innocent and GAP is to blame for everything?

          Let me refresh your memory as well a bit more. As you say the Bank of Greece warned everybody for a “double digit” deficit. Then…why Mr Karamanlis JUST 2 DAYS BEFORE the elections, October the 2nd gave official data to the EU stating that the deficit was just 6%? Who was the liar? Karamanlis or the Bank of Greece? And who should GAP believe? The Prime Minister or the Central Banker? Who would you believe?

          Furthermore…and this is impressive Karamanlis gave an indirect answer to who was telling the truth!!! As you may know the State Budget of 2013 is based on the assumption that the deficit of 2009 (the starting point of the adjustment program) what 15,6% of GDP. And Karamanlis voted YES!!! He sealed the 2009 deficit with his vote, also Mr Samaras. So…end of the story of who was right and who was the liar.

          You say that he was in the Parliament for many years. This is true, let’s give him his part of blame for his many years, equal with others.

          But it is totally unfair to charge him with all the mistakes of the Greek State.

          For God’s shake guys, see the numbers. 1831-2004 total national debt was about 180 billions. From 2004 to 2009 150 more billions were added.

          OK let’s blame GAP. Blame him for public spending and also for austerity.

        • chris kappa commented on May 23 2013

          Well, you both pounced on it pretty fast, hey? To Both of you, Elena @ Maikis: A typical response when you completely miss the point i.e label someone as a supporter of Karamanlis or Tsipras etc and then attack those leaders in defence of your beloved GAP. It seems both of you, either did not pay attention to my initial post, or deliberately (conveniently) overlooked my mention about Karamanlis. Let me make myself clear: I HOLD KARAMANLIS EQUALLY ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE MESS WE ARE IN!!! I care about his legacy as much as GAP’s!!! Is that clear enough on that front???!! To Elena: “Therefore the problem was not whatever (what-you forgot the subject here) was taking place in Greece in the past X years, but it was GAP who made it public.” No dear Elenena, the problem is hypocrisy on GAP’s part, and trashing his country in all the international fora, at a time when markets were ready to shut us out. Even more, the problem is the ludicrous attempt by a person lecturing the rest of the Greeks from a moral high-round, while being one of the political elites (yes, Elena and Makis, including KARAMANLIS!!) who had built up the corrupt system!!! Can you see the problem now, Elena and Makis?? Elena, you mean the same billions he handed out to hospitals and the public sector, which he later cut under memo 1? What a consistent and fair thing to do, huh?!
          To Makis: First of all, I believe my clarification that Karamanlis is as responsible for the mess we are in as GAP (and i do not care to get into percentage blame here) probably answers all your GAP-Karamanlis comparisons. “So now his both guilty for imposing austerity but also for public spending.” No, he is guilty of lying to get elected on promises of pubic spending, while he knew the the state the economy was in (who should he believe, right the Bank of Greece chairman or Karamanlis, remember?). He is guilty of making promises to spend more and not resort to the IMF, when we know now that he had already agreed with Strauss-Kahn, even before the elections. No one is charging him with all the faults of the Greek state since its inception!! My beef was your attempt to paint him as some kind of pure, innocent and uncorrupt politician who was suddenly thrust into the PM’s post!!!! That, my friend is at least hypocritical! Who knows, Makis, maybe he was a modern-day Kolokotronis and history will eventually recognise his gallant and brave efforts to save Greece, while touring around the world! cheers

          p.s to both of you: I never mentioned he has no right to speak at whatever forum he likes. It’s his prerogative.

        • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 23 2013

          Dear Chris Kappa.

          It seems to me that you have confused and mixed so many things. Let try to clarify. First of all I am happy that you agree that he has the right to speak. After all this is what the TED announcement is for. We solved that.

          I told you before that GAP has his merit of responsibility because he is in politics for 30 years. But in this sense who hasn’t? The Left? The Right? Who hasn’t? And what about the responsibility of the people who elected everyone? How is is possible 10 million people to constantly elect “corrupted people” as you call them? Don’t you see there is something wrong?

          Now to the rest that you are saying, please tell me what did he lie about? Because as I said in other posts, if you mean the slogan “there is money”, I already replied. You can post it here (the full version) and we can discuss it.

          So I really don’t understand what are you accusing him for? For his initial public spending? For the austerity? Or for the swift from one to another? If you clarify this, I am willing to respond.

        • chris kappa commented on May 23 2013

          Dear Makis,

          Quite the contrary. I have mixed nothing at all and am extremely precise at addressing specific points you raised. Something I really cannot say for you. Let me copy paste what I wrote in my post, which for some reason you completely failed to notice. Here is the paste from my aforementioned post “No, he is guilty of lying to get elected on promises of pubic spending, while he knew the the state the economy was in (who should he believe, right the Bank of Greece chairman or Karamanlis, remember?). He is guilty of making promises to spend more and not resort to the IMF, when we know now that he had already agreed with Strauss-Kahn, even before the elections”. Also note political hypocrisy as one of his shortcomings, to put it mildly… Does the second time of my posting this same point clarify what he is guilty of???? You see Makis, one of the bad things people have is that they refuse to listen to what the other has to say or write and simply go on to present their arguments, even accusing the other of confusion. It is indeed a pretty old tactic, that might work for some, but not in my case.
          Cheers Makis

          p.s if you have anything of value addressing my points to add, then I would be glad to respond. Otherwise, if you simply reiterate the ‘you are confused’ gimmick or start off on a completely off-topic matter I have nothing else to say.

        • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 23 2013

          Dear Chris Kappa,

          I now see your point and I see how this will end up. So if I understand well your accusation is that he was elected with the promise to deal with the crisis with public spending but behind the lines he had already agreed with the IMF.

          Let me ask you: Why? Why would he do that? Was it a life-dream for him to govern the country and call the IMF?

          By the way IMF was one third of the loan, the rest was from the EU but OK.

          Please answer to me, why was he in contact with Strauss Kahn?

  • Elena Ladopoulou commented on May 22 2013

    We must either accept Democracy, therefore accept that everyone is free to speak including left and right wing parties, younger or elder, whoever, or accept fascism and deny free speech to whoever we do not like.

    • Christos Pastelas commented on May 22 2013

      It’s not about democracy, it’s not about censorship. Nobody suggested that anyone should not allow G.A.P. to speak anywhere he likes and for whatever he likes! Freedom of speech is an attitude, not a political position.

      What everyone is furious about is that G.A.P. has no place in a TED conference. Because of what TED stands for.
      That’s all!

  • Panos Konstantinidis commented on May 22 2013

    People what’s wrong with you? Let Papandreou speak, he’s been invited and it’s his right to speak out his opinions, no matter if you agree with hm or not (at the end of the day he was democratically elected by the Greek electorate).

    BTW, dis-inviting Papadreou would be wrong but not censorship. Censorship applies only to government not to private institutions.

  • Elena Ladopoulou commented on May 22 2013

    THANK YOU TED FOR NOT SUPPORTING CENSORSHIP!

    The TED comments’ platform, which some Greek fellows use to express their anger and their opposition to George Papandreou opening TED Global, proves that TED is open to all ideas and speakers – this is a proof of TED being democratic by definition!

    And as there are Greek fellows who dislike Papandreou and his work, keep in mind that there are also Greeks who WE LIKE THE CHANGES THAT PAPANDREOU IMPLEMENTED. It is totally understandable that there may exist media and bank-owners who were used to cutting deals, people who received the pensions of deceased relatives, estate planning authority and tax authority “civil servants” who got hundreds of thousands or millions of Euros in their accounts, to cite a few examples, who didn’t like him and don’t want Papandreou to show his work. Mistakes? Many. But things would never change in Greece and we were risking to have a civil war. At least we have avoided it for the moment.

    Thank you

  • Tatiana Valeonti commented on May 22 2013

    “I regret that after Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Cyprus they cannot still understand that the path that Papandreou followed was not good or bad. It was the ONLY one. It was the one that everybody in the same situation is following even today.”

    Well, that’s exactly what this discussion is about. It was the only one that could have made things so much worse. If you’ve noticed, three memoranda and a lot of spending cuts later, the national debt is still higher than it was when we entered the IMF. Not a single “goal” has been achieved. In fact GAP himself said before he was elected, that cutting pensions and salaries would increase the economic ability of the citizens thus deepening the recession. Oh, the irony…

    I regret, Makis Spiliopoulos, that you simply put others all together in a bag, putting words into their mouths. Each person here is a different person. You just made a bunch of assuming claims about how each of us makes assumptions. I didn’t see one comment here that was calling names. All of them very calmly explained why we think it’s hypocritical to invite one of the people who created the problem to talk about how to solve the problem. But like I said, that’s the whole point. You think he’s done the only thing he could do. You “believe in him”. I don’t. Case closed.

    • Tatiana Valeonti commented on May 22 2013

      Ugh, stupid typo. I correct myself:
      “In fact GAP himself said before he was elected, that cutting pensions and salaries would DEcrease the economic ability of the citizens thus deepening the recession.”

    • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 22 2013

      @Tatiana

      Please tell me how much would the debt be now without the memorandum? Go back to 2009 with a decifit of 36bln. Take the debt of 2009 and add 36bln each year. You will see that by 2020 it would be more that 200% of GDP. Now it will be around 120% unless that will be another haircut which will reduce it more.

      Sorry for my Greek here Τατιάνα το ζήτημα δεν είναι το χρέος όσο το έλλειμμα και η δυναμική που είχε αυτό αναπτύξει τότε. Με 16% σχεδόν έλλειμμα το χρέος σου τρέχει με +16% το χρόνο. Άστοχο λοιπόν το επιχείρημά σου αυτό.

      Yes GAP said that cutting would deepen the recession. And he was right as we see. But us you understand from the whole South there are specific policies imposed by the troika in order to give money. And every politician in the world, between a total bankruptcy and a hard way would choose the second. In addition to that, if you remember back in 2009 he was saying to everyone “we need time to correct things, not money”. Well..they never gave time.

      Nevertheless it is really amazing that your critique totally misses Caramanlis who doubled the debt added 600% of deficit and now is eating Greek souvlaki.

      It is like facing a fire and pointing the fireman.

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  • Christos Pastelas commented on May 21 2013

    @ Makis Spiliopoulos

    1. Apologizing to TED? On behalf of the Greek people? Why?
    2. Preempting responses to your post? Why?
    3. One’s right to an opinion is indisputable. Don’t deny it to others.

    You missed the whole point. G.A.P., in a sense, will represent the Greek people on TED. It is TED that we value and we do not want “little George” to spoil TED with his presence. Nobody cared so far and nobody protested about his accolades as speaker to various international organizations or to Harvard University.

    Finally, when someone’s life is devastated due to specific political decisions (regardless of who is responsible), he has the right to be passionate about it.

    • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 22 2013

      @ Christos

      1) I am not apologising to anyone. It is a way of writing
      2) Because I know what usually follows when somebody supports “the traitor”…
      3) Of course it is, I never said “don’t reply”

      You are wrong. He is not representing any Greek but himself. He will share his experiences, his good things and probably his bad things. What’s the problem with that? Just DO NOT attend!
      There are no dead ends in Democracy…

  • Tino El commented on May 21 2013

    @Makis Spiliopoulos

    Dear friend,

    at the moment I’m in Ireland. Since you are very informed about the world around you.

    - http://www.publicpolicy.ie/the-minimum-wage-in-ireland/
    here you can learn about the minimum wage
    [Since July 2011, the Minimum Wage guarantees an hourly wage of €8.65 to adult employees over the eighteen with at least two years previous employment experience. For teenagers under the age of eighteen, this wage guarantee is €6.06 per hour]

    -http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/social_welfare/social_welfare_payments/unemployed_people/jobseekers_allowance.html
    here you may be informed for the unemployment benefit if you were paid 600 -> 481 euro

    - http://www.tesco.ie/groceries/product/search/default.aspx?searchBox=milk&N=4294955512
    here you can learn the prices of a supermarket [same maybe less than Greece]

    - http://www.icos.ie/supply-chain/global/
    here you can learn about irish agri-food sector:
    __The agri-food sector still accounts for around 25% of net foreign earnings.
    __In 2010 food exports were valued at almost €8 billion. The Government’s target is to grow this figure to €12 billion by 2020.
    __85% of Irish dairy products are exported.
    __The dairy sector is worth >€3 billion to the Irish economy.
    __Beef and milk production account for almost 60% of Irish agricultural output at producer prices.

    next time get informed dear boy… and I feel sorry for you and Greek people

  • Makis Spiliopoulos commented on May 21 2013

    Dear Ted.

    I really regret for all my fellow Greeks who comment in such a way. I guess they would express the same passion if you had called the PM of Spain, of Italy, of Ireland, of Cyprus, of Portugal etc since they also imposed austerity to their people.

    I regret that they can’t even distinguish who or what brought the crisis to Greece. They can’t even see that a word crisis hit Greece and other weak European economies and this is not a matter of one person, one PM and his policies.

    I regret that that they feel angry because a person turned the mirror towards their faces and showed them who they really are.

    I regret that the current luck of a fake prosperity, cultivated by easy, endless money borrowing highlighted who they really are.

    I regret that all those people, by 2009, never really understood what was coming and they blamed one person for everything

    If you ask a Greek, which are the biggest leader ever in post-Ottoman Greece, they will name more or less 3 persons, I will not name them. If you see how these 3 persons ended up, you will be amazed. Allegations for “traitors”, assassinations and hate speech. This is what happening today with George Papandreou.

    I regreet that they never learn from our History.

    I regret that after Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Cyprus they cannot still understand that the path that Papandreou followed was not good or bad. It was the ONLY one. It was the one that everybody in the same situation is following even today.

    What I don’t regret is that I believed in George Papandreou and I still believe.

    P.S.1. I know what they will say about me, how they will call me and why. It is a common situation in Greece. “If you disagree with me you are obviously a traitor”.
    P.S. 2 Guys…you are welcome not to attend his speech or disagree in everything he says. What is not welcome is to try to prevent a person from talking. Is this too heavy for your democratic values?

    • Tino El commented on May 21 2013

      I replied above not sure if you are willing to see

  • Christina Lassos commented on May 21 2013

    Dear TED

    I passionately share your belief in the power of ideas to “change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world” and always look forward to listening to new talks from “the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers”.

    Your decision to include G Papanderou, former PM of Greece, as a speaker in the forthcoming Spring Conference has left me aghast and cannot but ask you 3 questions

    1) Do you consider Mr. Papanderou a “fascinating thinker”?

    For your information, Mr. Papandreou became the PM of Greece by virtue of nepotism, in a highly corrupt system. Even his followers at his heydays referred to him by the derogatory nickname “Georgakis”, meaning lesser George. Are his thoughts worthy of a TED Talk?

    2) Do you consider Mr. Papandreou a “fascinating doer”?

    Mr. Papandreou’s only profession has been that of a politician. Therefore, as a doer, his only legacy is that of the devastation of a country.

    As you certainly know, Greece has suffered a reputational devastation, an economic devastation and a moral devastation. Behind numbers lies an unprecedented human cost resulting in hunger and despair reminiscent of WWII.

    Mr Papandreou was elected as PM of Greece in October 2009 on the false promise that ‘’there is money’’. Six months later he activated the support mechanism of the IMF. In his utter inability to manage the crisis Mr Papandreou resigned from his position in November 2011 but he remains a member of the Greek Parliament. He travels around the world giving talks. Presumably, in his spare time he deals with his duties as a Member of Parliament of a devastated country. Are his doings worthy of a TED Talk?

    3) Is “anything goes” an attitude that TED endorses and considers worth spreading?

    If you really want to provide a TED Talk on a ‘Moment of Truth’ around the Greek crisis you have a choice:

    Your can invite a person who lives in Greece, has seen and felt the devastation to the bone, has not fled, has not surrendered, to the contrary has gathered the extraordinary power of the human spirit and, against all odds, has done something to help people and bring positive change (for such an inspiring such example please see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/25/world/europe/greek-unemployed-cut-off-from-medical-treatment.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0).

    Or you can invite a person who was a member of a corrupt political elite, rose to power only because of his name, brought a country to its knees and now gives talks that are very useful in providing exotic dinner-table anecdotes.

    By inviting him you endorse him and his administration.

    Is this what TED stands for? THINK AGAIN.

    • Tino El commented on May 21 2013

      I suppose there are numerous references for those willing to realize

  • Tatiana Valeonti commented on May 21 2013

    Obviously, TED needs a reminder of its identity:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/afra_raymond_three_myths_about_corruption.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/bryan_stevenson_we_need_to_talk_about_an_injustice.html
    http://www.ted.com/talks/sunitha_krishnan_tedindia.html

    Brave people, not afraid of challenging the ones with power. Ideas that make the world a better, fairer world. And here’s where we’ve gotten. Inviting corrupted politicians to give us advice on how to increase poverty, unemployment and suicide rates.

  • Christos Pastelas commented on May 21 2013

    Dear TED,

    there was a time not so long ago that I regarded TED as the stage for the most creative (and smart) people worldwide. Now, with so many conferences worldwide and so many speakers, it’s almost inevitable that people like G.A.P apandreou is invited. After all, he is a visiting speaker at Harvard University (because being in the list of teaching staff of a university elevates the rating of the University!!)

    Anyway, what TED fails to understand is the G.A.P. is one of the most hated people in Greece. Not only because he purposely led Greece to austerity, but because he always looked indifferent to the suffering of the Greek people.

    I will no be surprised for any kind of protests during the event and to any extremity, so be warned. After all, the number of people petitioning for his removal will reach very high numbers after the petition appeared in the news in Greek television.

    Finally, being TED must have the FLEXIBILITY and the COURAGE to correct a mistake!!!

  • Tatiana Valeonti commented on May 21 2013

    So, since he won’t be paid it’s alright?

    He is one of the people responsible for the “crisis”. He hasn’t even pretended to admit that he made “mistakes”. He is still adamant that he had to do all the things he promised he wouldn’t before he got elected. He is a hypocrite and you’re giving him a global stage, legalizing his economic crimes.
    I’m glad Thatcher is dead, otherwise you might have brought her for her “insight” on how to support the unions. Oh, Bush is still alive. Why don’t we get him to talk to us about peace and harmony between nations? He has some valuable experience as a former President, after all.

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  • Tino El commented on May 21 2013

    Dear Ted,

    I understand your thinking. Mr. is known to be a controversial person after he ceased to be a PM. Since then, despite the fact that he is part of the Greek parliament he did not participate at all. Constantly receiving permission to be abroad giving lectures and being paid for sharing his experience. It would be far more interesting if you invited a person that belongs to the public of Greece. A writer or poet to describe in their own way what the country was and is still facing.

    Probably you started politicalize the talks and you are no more interested in sharing inshrining ideas and life experiences.

    Mr. Papandreou, has also been rejected by the majority of the european politicians for not having the strength to deal with the circumstances, avoiding responsibility and trying to find backdoor or under the table solutions.

    Furthermore, his family name has been involved into a series of scandals before and during the financial crisis.

    Please have a background check on this and respect the people that wish to keep him out of such an event.

  • John Pappas commented on May 21 2013

    Long story short: Papandreou didn’t fell off the Greek sky in 2009. Papandreou is an active member of the political scene in Greece since the 80s. He has served as a minister for many years, while his party is synonymous to corruption and primary responsible for the current status of the country. After all the mess in the public sector, Papandreou invited IMF and then he left the country. Please let him have the talk. He deserves to be globally humiliated.

  • Yorgos Kleivokiotis commented on May 21 2013

    Papandreou, his family and his political party are to a very large extend responsible (not exclusively of course) for the economic situation Greece was when the wave of the global financial crisis hit the country.
    Papandreou did a terrible job dealing with the situation. First he lied to his voters to become PM, then, according to the vast majority of political and economic analysts, he dealt with the situation in the worst possible way. There is not much to learn from him…

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