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October 6, 2011 Global Problems Do Not Recognize Borders

  • Turkish deputy prime minister calls for kamikaze politicians
  • Hans-Paul Bürkner: “Proceed step by step"
  • Open communication is the key to success


Ali Babacan, Turkish deputy prime minister and minister of state, told the plenum at the Global Economic Symposium (GES) in Kiel on Wednesday that “we need governments that will sacrifice their own political future for the future good of their countries. We need more kamikaze politicians.” In the discussion about strategies for resolving global problems, he stated that party lines and country borders should no longer play a role. He continued that “we are living in difficult times. The problems are huge. Therefore, politicians must respond by taking drastic measures.”

Hans-Paul Bürkner, CEO of the Boston Consulting Group, stated “today’s politicians are no worse than the politicians of 10 to 20 years ago,” but the problems that they have to deal with are much more complex today, and the consequences of what they do are difficult to foresee because of the interconnectivity of political decisions. He continued that “it is thus important to proceed step by step. Solving global problems is a long-term process.”

Arun Maira, member of the Indian Planning Commission, added that “global problems do not recognize borders. We are all in the same boat and have to cooperate in the public interest. Market advocates and government advocates need to come together and find a third way.” In this context, Mahmoud Mohieldin, managing director of the World Bank, pointed out that communication is extremely important and that “we need to use our knowledge, to build bridges, and to provide information. The only way to gain acceptance and approval for something is to openly explain to the public why it is necessary.”

The fourth Global Economic Symposium (GES) is being jointly hosted by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and the Bertelsmann Stiftung, in cooperation with the German National Library of Economics (ZBW) – Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

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