Remembering Zolotas: A speech in English with all Greek words
Even those who are not acquainted with Zolotas’ academic work may be familiar with his famed speeches before the IMF
Just two days ago was the birthday of the late Xenophon Zolotas, the patrician economist of international repute, university professor, thrice governor of the central Bank of Greece, and the prime minister of an ecumenical multi-party government in the tumultuous late 1980’s
He is widely viewed as one of the most prominent Greek academics and public intellectuals of the 20th century.
After his law studies at the University of Athens, he studied economics in Leipzig and political science at the University of Paris.
At the age of 24, he occupied the first Chair in Economic Law at the University of Thessaloniki, and soon occupied a series of top public posts related to his field.
Beyond excelling in his academic field, the cosmopolitan Zolotas harboured a deep love and knowledge of the Greek language.
Even those who are not acquainted with Zolotas’ academic work may be familiar with his famed speeches before the IMF and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, in which he addressed a stunned audience in English but using only words derived from the Greek language.
The text of the 2 October, 1959 speech is as follows:
“Kyrie, I eulogize the archons of the Panethnic Numismatic Thesaurus and the Ecumenical Trapeza for the orthodoxy of their axioms, methods and policies, although there is an episode of cacophony of the Trapeza with Hellas.
With enthusiasm we dialogue and synagonize at the synods of our didymous Organizations in which polymorphous economic ideas and dogmas are analyzed and synthesized. Our critical problems such as the numismatic plethora generate some agony and melancholy.
This phenomenon is characteristic of our epoch. But, to my thesis, we have the dynamism to program therapeutic practices as a prophylaxis from chaos and catastrophe. In parallel, a panethnic unhypocritical economic synergy and harmonization in a democratic climate is basic. I apologize for my eccentric monologue. I emphasize my eucharistia to you Kyrie, to the eugenic and generous American Ethnos and to the organizers and protagonists of this Amphictyony and the gastronomic symposia. Η δεύτερη ομιλία στις 2 Οκτωβρίου 1959: Kyrie, It is Zeus’ anathema on our epoch for the dynamism of our economies and the heresy of our economic methods and policies that we should agonise between the Scylla of numismatic plethora and the Charybdis of economic anaemia. It is not my idiosyncrasy to be ironic or sarcastic but my diagnosis would be that politicians are rather cryptoplethorists. Although they emphatically stigmatize numismatic plethora, energize it through their tactics and practices.
Our policies have to be based more on economic and less on political criteria.Our gnomon has to be a metron between political, strategic and philanthropic scopes. Political magic has always been antieconomic. In an epoch characterised by monopolies, oligopolies, menopsonies, monopolistic antagonism and polymorphous inelasticities, our policies have to be more orthological. But this should not be metamorphosed into plethorophobia which is endemic among academic economists. Numismatic symmetry should not antagonize economic acme. A greater harmonization between the practices of the economic and numismatic archons is basic.
Parallel to this, we have to synchronize and harmonize more and more our economic and numismatic policies panethnically.
These scopes are more practical now, when the prognostics of the political and economic barometer are halcyonic. The history of our didymous organisations in this sphere has been didactic and their gnostic practices will always be a tonic to the polyonymous and idiomorphous ethnical economics.
The genesis of the programmed organisations will dynamize these policies. I sympathise, therefore, with the aposties and the hierarchy of our organisations in their zeal to programme orthodox economic and numismatic policies, although I have some logomachy with them. I apologize for having tyrannized you with my Hellenic phraseology. In my epilogue, I emphasize my eulogy to the philoxenous autochthons of this cosmopolitan metropolis and my encomium to you, Kyrie, and the stenographers.”