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Politics

Atlas Network Presents Ideas for Greek Reform

The Atlas Network presented a reception and talk on Reforms for Greece and the Retreat of Populism on May 2 at the Princeton Club in Manhattan. The Atlas Network is a global organization that has connected more than 400 free-market institutes in over 80 countries to advance the cause of economic liberty worldwide.

In recent years, the Atlas Network has successfully launched a movement in Greece to promote free markets and individual liberty, by identifying, training and supporting individuals and organizations promoting a shared vision of a free and prosperous society. After two elections in the last year, the imposition of capital controls to the Greek banking system, and a dramatic refugee crisis, Atlas Network partners, including the Liberty Forum of Greece and the Greek Liberties Monitor, are promoting a pro-freedom agenda in the country.

Dr. Tom G. Palmer, Atlas Network Executive Vice President for International Programs and Alexander Skouras, Atlas Network Associate Director of Institute Relations presented that agenda at the event hosted by Atlas Network Board Member Nikolaos Monoyios.

Palmer is also a senior fellow at Cato Institute and Director of Cato University. Before joining Cato, he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow at Hertford College, Oxford University, and a vice president of the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University. Palmer frequently lectures around the world on political science and libertarianism. He has published reviews and articles in scholarly journals and in publications including Slate, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. Palmer also authored Realizing Freedom: Libertarian Theory, History, and Practice, and edited The Morality of Capitalism (2011), After the Welfare State (2012), Why Liberty (2013), and Peace, Love & Liberty (2014). Palmer received his BA in liberal arts from St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, his MA in philosophy from The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC, and his doctorate in politics from Oxford University.

Alexander Skouras is a Greek-American free-market advocate and a political manager. He has held important positions in national electoral campaigns in Greece and a Republican Presidential Primary campaign in the US. At the Atlas Network, he connects partner organizations with Atlas Network programs. He is also leading a project that aims to strengthen the pro-liberty movement in Greece, manages the Global Outreach social media campaigns, and cultivates network relations. Skouras studied marketing at the American College of Greece and Political Management at George Washington University.

The talk began with a brief historical background on the ideas of limited government and personal freedom that emerged in opposition to socialist ideas in the early part of the 20th century. Palmer described the Atlas Network’s programs in various countries, including Greece, where the free market message is gradually spreading as a means to reforming the country’s ailing economy.

Skouras presented the findings of various research organizations in charts and graphs, showing how the limitations on the free market hinder the economy of Greece rather than help it. The statistics paint a grim portrait, but Skouras noted the changing perception among the people of Greece who, according to research polls, are more open to reform and free market solutions to the economic crisis than they have been in the past. Pension reform continues to be the main issue and the Atlas Network is optimistic that reducing the state burden on the economy is the way forward for Greece. Monoyios observed that this is a battle of ideas and it could take generations. Skouras highlighted the growing number of students in Greece who are learning about free market capitalism as another hopeful sign.

Through the Atlas Network programs, documentaries, and translated books, many students are learning for the first time that there are alternatives to the social welfare state.

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