Farewell to George Provopoulos

George Provopoulos, the former governor of Bank of Greece, passed away on Tuesday, 28 May. The cause was cancer, Greek media reported. He was born in Piraeus, in 1950, graduated in 1973 from the Economics Department of the Athens Law School and continued his studies in the UK, where he received a PhD from the University of Essex. He taught Economics from 1979 to 2007 at the University of Athens.

He was a member of the committee which, led by Prof. Angelos Angelopoulos, prepared a Report on the Stabilisation and Growth of the Greek Economy (April 1990), commissioned by the then Prime Minister, Prof. Xenophon Zolotas. He was chairman of the committee set up by a joint decision of the Minister of Economy and Finance and the Minister of Health, Welfare and Social Insurance to study and report on a possible transformation of social security funds into collective investment schemes. He also chaired a committee for the reform of the Greek tax system established in November 1989. During the governments of Konstantinos Mitsotakis, he was assigned deputy governor of the Bank of Greece and president of the Council of Economic Experts.

Provopoulos’ professional career included senior positions in the banking sector (Hellenic Postbank, Alpha Bank, Emporiki Bank, Piraeus Bank), as well as in the country’s most prominent economic research institutes (Foundation for Economic & Industrial Research, Centre of Planning and Economic Research, Hellenic Centre for Investment). He was vice-president of the Hellenic Bank Association, member of the Monetary Committee of the European Union and Alternate Governor for Greece at the International Monetary Fund.

In June 2008, he was appointed governor of the Bank of Greece and remained there during the period of the Memoranda, until 2014 when he was succeeded by Yiannis Stournaras. As noted in a statement by the current governor, Provopoulos “made a significant contribution to fiscal policy and the restructuring of the banking sector and, as Governor of the Bank of Greece from 2008 to 2014, managed in the best possible way the impact of the sovereign debt crisis on the banking sector”.

For his book entitled “The Dynamics of the Financial System”, co-authored with Panayotis Kapopoulos, he received the Award of the Class of Ethical and Political Sciences from the Academy of Athens in 2003.

After his stint as central banker, Provopoulos worked for Eurobank, managing its branches in Bulgaria. He is survived by his wife and three children.