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Gerasimos Arsenis (Greek: Γεράσιμος Αρσένης; born 1931 in Kephalonia, Greece), is a Greek politician[1] who served as a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and a Minister, in several Governments with the Panhellenic Socialist Movement.


Gerasimos Arsenis was born in Kephalonia, Greece in 1931. He studied Law at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens . After obtaining his degree in Law, he continued his Post-Graduate studies in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Arsenis is fluent in English and French. From 1960 until 1964, Arsenis served as an Economist in the United Nations Secretariat (Prebisch Group) for the preparation of U.N.C.T.A.D. In 1964, he quit his post, as he was appointed the Director of the Research Division of the O.E.C.D. Development Centre in Paris, where he remained until 1967.

In 1967, he was appointed as a Senior Economist on the U.N.C.T.A.D and in 1974 he became the Director. During that period, he engaged in research and participated in negotiations relating to the reform of the International Monetary System. From 1974 until 1980, he served as an independent expert of U.N.C.T.A.D. to the Ministerial Committee of Twenty on the Reform of the International Monetary System (later known as the IMF "Interim Committee"). Arsenis contributed to various proposals including the creation of international liquidity (SDRs), and developmental assistance and coordination of program assistance for the World Bank, along with the balance-of-payments financing the IMF uses for effective stabilization and development support scheme.

In November 1981, he was appointed as a Governor of the Bank of Greece, a post that he maintained until February 1984. During that period, he oversaw the liberalization of the Greek financial system and modernized financial regulations. Gerasimos Arsenis has been an advisor for a number of governments on issues related to foreign exchange policy, external financing and debt rescheduling.

Gerasimos Arsenis started his career in Politics in 1982, when he was appointed as a Minister of National Economy[2] with the Panhellenic Socialist Movement, a position that he held until 1985. In 1984, he served as a Minister of Economics that he was appointed to the Ministry of Mercantile Marine a year later, a position that he held for a month due to a disagreement with the Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou on a few matters of economic policy. He was replaced by Costas Simitis.

In 1986, Gerasimos Arsenis was expelled from the party, due to severe disagreements with the policies of the government. Afterwhich he founded the Greek Socialist Party, which did not manage to appeal enough Greek voters and was therefore dissolved.

He returned to the Panhellenic Socialist Movement in 1989. The Panhellenic Socialist Movement won the National elections of 1993, and Gerasimos Arsenis was appointed the Minister of Defence until 1996. He was the Minister of Defense during the Imia crisis. During his post as the Minister, he promoted the new Defense Dogma for Greece and Cyprus, restructured the Defense procurement, and pursued policies of co-operation in the Defense arena with a number of countries in the broader region.

After the resignation of Andreas Papandreou from the Presidency of the Party due to health problems, after a three-month long hospitalization which had incapacitated him and created a serious power-vacuum in Greece, the members of the Party asked for elections for a possible successor. Gerasimos Arsenis announced his candidacy to replace him, but he lost to Costas Simitis and trailed the second candidate, Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

In 1996, during the Government of Costas Simitis, he was appointed as Minister of Education, a position that he held until 2000. Gerasimos Arsenis faced a massive backlash within the Educational community for the Educational system changes he proposed, some of which, however, stand to this day.

Personal life

Gerasimos Arsenis is married to Louka Katseli and they have four children.[1]


^ a b "Gerasimos Arsenis, Politician". kefalonia.net.gr. 2002. Archived from the original on 2011-01-01.
^ "AROUND THE WORLD; Greek Economists Join New Cabinet". The New York Times: pp. A.7. 1982-07-06. Retrieved 2011-01-01.

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