Professor Heiner Flassbeck (1950), a renowned German economist, is well known for his critical stance towards free trade, current economic policy and financial crisis. He is also one of the leading critics of austerity measures propagated by the Economic and Monetary Union. He obtained his Ph.D. in economics at the Free University of Berlin in 1987 with the dissertation on “Money, Interest and Exchange Rates”. Upon finishing his studies, he started working as a researcher in various public institutions, where he actively participated in the formulation and implementation of economic policies in Germany, EMU, EU, and on the global level.
Flassbeck was a researcher at the German Council of Economic Experts in Wiesbaden from 1976 to 1980. He worked as a researcher at the Federal Ministry of Economics in Bonn until 1986 and served as chief macroeconomist at the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) in Berlin from 1988 to 1998. Flassbeck became State Secretary (Vice Minister) in the Federal German Ministry of Finance from 1998 to 1999 (under Oskar Lafontaine). He was responsible for international affairs, the EU and the relations with the IMF. Flassbeck worked for the UNCTAD in Geneva from 2000 onwards. From 2003 to 2012, he was Director of the Division on Globalisation and Development Strategies. He was the main author in the team that prepared UNCTAD’s Trade and Development Report. The unit specialized in macroeconomics, exchange rate policies and international finance. In 2005, he was appointed Honorary Professor at the University of Hamburg. Since January 2013, Heiner Flassbeck has been Director of Flassbeck-Economics, a consultancy for global macroeconomic issues.
Among his publications, we highlight those published in English: Economic Reform Now: A Global Manifesto to Rescue our Sinking Economies (2013) written in collaboration with Paul Davidson, James K. Galbraith, Richard Koo und Jayati Ghosh, and Against the Troika: Crisis and Austerity in the Eurozone (2015), written with Costas Lapavitsas.
In his lecture at the Subversive Festival, under the title A Critique of Economic Policies in the European Union and in the European Monetary Union Professor Flassbeck will reflect on the economic fundaments of the Eurozone and point out their weaknesses. A special emphasis will be placed on Germany’s role, as the only country that can save the euro. That process implies a total reversal in its economic policy, namely through abolishment of the wage moderation process and a consequent rise in the unit labour costs which should end deflation within EMU and speed the process of economic recovery for the peripheral Eurozone countries. When it comes to the stability of EMU, France and Italy are recognized as the critical countries opposite to the “usual suspect”, i.e. Greece. In addition to that, the lecture underlines that the Greek government is right to stress the failure of the „programme“ proposed by the Troika (the European Commission, ECB and IMF).