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12 June, 2004
Xenophon Zolotas, one of Greece's leading intellectuals, prominent economists and academicians and a former interim prime minister, died Friday at the age of 100.
President of the Republic Kostis Stephanopoulos, upon learning of Zolotas' demise, expressed deep sadness, noting that the deceased had been, from a young age, an economist and university professor of international standing, had rendered his services to the country as governor of Greece's central bank, the Bank of Greece, and as prime minister, and also in every field in which his assistance had been requested.
Zolotas "was one of the most prominent Greeks of his era", the President said.
Zolotas was highly respected for his contribution to Greece during a long career, in which he served among others as Greece's representative to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the United Nations, while his address, as Greece's governor of the IMF for Greece and central bank governor, at the 1959 joint annual meeting of the boards of governors of the IMF, the International Finance Corporation and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) in which all the words in the text, except the auxiliary words, were of Greek origin has gone down in history.
Xenophon Zolotas was born on March 26, 1904, in Athens Greece, and was married to Kallirhoe Ritsos. He was fluent in Greek, English, French and German, with university studies between 1920 and 1927 at the Universities of Athens, Leipzig and Paris.
In 1928, at the age of 24, he became a Lecturer of Economics at the University of Athens, was a Professor of Economics at the University of Thessaloniki in 1928-130, and from 1931-1968 was a Professor of Economics at the University of Athens.
In 1932 he served as a member of Greece's Supreme Economic Council.
Zolotas was chief of the Greek delegation to the Economic Council of the Entente Balkanique from 1934 to 1939, and also served as chairman of the board of the Agricultural Bank of Greece (ATE) 1936-1939.
In 1944-45 he was joint governor of the Bank of Greece (after the liberation), while in 1946 he was a member of the UNRRA Council.
He served two stints as governor of the IMF for Greece in 1946-67 and in 1974-81, and was also a member of the Greek delegation to the UN General Assembly in 1948-1953, the Greek representative to the Economic Commission for Europe in 1949-1953, and a member of the Executive Committee of the International Economic Association in 1950-54, of which he was Honorary President since 1980.
In 1950-55 he served as a member of Greece's Currency Committee, and was a member of the Academy of Athens since 1952.
Zolotas served as minister of Economic Coordination in October-December 1952 (as caretaker minister), and again in July-November 1974 (under the National Unity government of Constantine Karamanlis, after the fall of the military dictatorship in Greece).
He also served twice as governor of the Bank of Greece, from 1955 to 1967 (until the colonels' dictatorship in Greece) and from 1974 (after the overthrow of the dictatorship) to 1981.
In 1960 Zolotas was a member of the "Group of Four" for remodeling the OEEC into the OECD.
In November 1981 he became Honorary Governor of the Bank of Greece, and in November 1986 became a member of the Committee for the "Monetary Union in Europe" under the co-presidency of Valery Giscard D'Estaing of France and Helmut Schmidt of Germany.
From November 23, 1989 to April 11, 1990, he served as parliamentary prime minister of Greece (of the Ecumenical Government formed and supported by the country's three main political parties at the time -- New Democracy, PASOK and the Coalition of the Left -- by agreement of the political party leaders, after the Nov. 5 1989 elections failed to produce a majority for any of the parties to form a self-sustained government).
Zolotas also served as a private in the Greek Army during the Second World War.
He was editor of the "Greek Review of Economic and Political Science" from 1931-1967.
He was also the author of a plethora of mainly economic books and papers, many of which have been translated into several other languages.
Source: Athens News Agency