Diggers 2018 keynote announced

DIGGERS & Dealers has announced the international keynote speaker for this year’s event.
Diggers 2018 keynote announced Diggers 2018 keynote announced Diggers 2018 keynote announced Diggers 2018 keynote announced Diggers 2018 keynote announced

Jose Manuel Barroso.

Kristie Batten

Goldman Sachs International chairman José Manuel Barroso will open the 2018 event on August 6.

Barroso was Prime Minister of Portugal from 2002-04 and president of the European Commission for 10 years until 2014.

Diggers said he oversaw the biggest expansion of European Union member countries in history and coordinated the response to the European sovereign debt crisis.

He joined Goldman Sachs in 2016, a move that was criticised by some, with the Guardian reporting that over 150,000 people signed a petition drafted by EU staff describing the move as “morally reprehensible”.

While an independent ethics panel questioned Barroso’s judgement over the new role in late 2016, he was cleared over any integrity breach of EU code.

Barroso’s appearance follows former World Bank Group president Robert Zoellick in 2016, former International Monetary Fund deputy managing director John Lipsky in 2015 and Obama economic advisor Gene Sperling in 2015.

Diggers chairman Nick Giorgetta said the forum took pride in maintaining the highest standard of keynote speakers and Barroso would be a highlight of the 2018 program.

“The restructure of the European Union because of Brexit is one of the more challenging economic issues affecting the international community,” he said. 

“2018 will be a significant year for the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. 

“Mr Barroso is uniquely qualified to deliver an educated overview of the economic implications that will come from this momentous change, both for Europe and the global community.”

The Diggers presenter program is traditionally released in late March/early April.

Late last year, the Stokes family sold the event to Sharon Giorgetta and Myles Ertzen, the daughter and son-in-law of Nick Giorgetta.

The existing management will continue to run the event.

The new owners have also made a commitment to keep the forum in Kalgoorlie, which was further cemented by an agreement between the Western Australian government and local council to ensure the future of conference venue the Goldfields Art Centre until at least 2023.

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