Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks at Clapton economic debate

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:15 01 March 2016

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks at the event

Former Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis speaks at the event


Hundreds of people lined the streets of Clapton to see “rock star” economist Yanis Varoufakis take part in a political debate.

The Peoples PPE holding a meeting at the Round Chapel in ClaptonThe Peoples PPE holding a meeting at the Round Chapel in Clapton

The former Greek finance minister – part of the anti-austerity Syriza party for seven months last year – was one of the guest speakers at the People’s PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics) event at the Round Chapel.

The east-London education group drew 800 people to the venue for the talk, but having addressed 1,000 people at its launch event two weeks ago, 18-year-old host Beth Foster-Ogg took it in her stride.

The former Clapton Academy for Girls student said: “It was a privilege to chair an event that gave people in my community the opportunity to not only question experts in the field of economics, but also to share their own local insights.

“It was particularly important to see so many young and local people seeking to understand some of the most vital and complex questions that out society needs to ask.”

Also speaking at the event, titled The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Economics, was prominent economist Ann Pettifor.

Shopkeepers, community workers and school children listened as the pair spoke about the current economic climate and how people can overcome their own issues, including crippling rent.

Organiser and co-founder of People’s PPE Imad Ahmed paid tribute to the people who made the event possible.

“This is an entirely local event,” he said. “All the people and resources that made this event possible are here on this one road in Hackney.

“Our chair lives on this road and attended a school on this road, our Imam lives on this road, our bookseller is from this road, our caterer is from this road, our beautiful venue is on this road. This shows that each of our streets have the talent and power to rival Whitehall.”

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