Cyprus Mail
A minute with

A minute with Professor Sir Christopher Pissarides Regius Professor of Economics, London School of Economics, Professor of European Studies, University of Cyprus, Nobel Laureate and winner this week of the International Economy Award 2015

Where do you live?
In London and Nicosia with my family

Best childhood memory?
Waking up in clear blue skies in the Cyprus spring; going to Kyrenia with my family and friends for the weekend

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish? What food would you really turn your nose up to?
The LSE canteen in London and the periptero at the University of Cyprus. In winter evenings Scotts in London and in summer evenings Kalamies in Paralimni. Favourite dish is anything made with very fresh fish and minimum add-ons. Turn my nose up at overcooked, over-sauced dishes with bad quality ingredients.

What did you have for breakfast?
Cereal, fresh fruit and green tea

Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
Day person, definitely. For best day/night there is competition between a good day of research activity in the office followed by a good restaurant in the evening with close friends (small number, not Cyprus style), and a day by the sea followed by a good open-air fish restaurant. I pursue the first in winter and the second in the summer.

Best book ever read?
Too many are best, for different reasons. I like books that are about ideas, science or discovery, so I would enjoy a book about the discovery of dinosaurs (one of the best that I have read) as much as I would enjoy one about oriental philosophy.

Favourite film of all time?
Casablanca. Tough guy falling for the love of a woman. But suppresses all emotion and does the right thing for his country in the end

Favourite holiday destination? What’s your dream trip?
The Cyclades. The intense blue and white of the Aegean makes it the most relaxing holiday I could take. My dream trip depends on who is with me

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
Classical, when I can. But in Cyprus it is difficult to find a classical music station, so I listen to laika, mainly for their stories, which I love. The vast majority of them are about a man lamenting the fact that the love of his life has left him for someone else. In London we have the wonderful BBC supplying us with everything.

What is always in your fridge?
A good bottle of white wine, olives, fresh vegetables and milk

Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
One with big windows and verandas overlooking the sea. One that does not have other houses too close to it is best but in Cyprus you can no longer find them. I find the view of the sea most relaxing and inspirational. Once a colleague (and Nobel Prize winner) told me that as a child he learned that the sea is boring to look at because it is just a flat surface coloured blue. It is one of the strangest things that I have ever heard and can only explain it by the fact the he was unfortunate enough not to experience the Mediterranean as a child.

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
It would be very difficult to resist Penelpe Cruz but if I could choose anyone dead or alive I would probably go for Aristotle or Leonardo Da Vinci. True geniuses. I would then have them talk and I listen.

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
Probably persuade myself that we brought it on ourselves and we deserve it. In that way I would go happy because justice has been done. It is my approach after a defeat of my favourite team in football too. Same disaster, just different scale.

What is your greatest fear?
Failure.

Tell me a joke…
A man was filling in his tax forms and came to the question “how many dependents do you have and how much do you contribute to their upkeep?” He replied 30,000, they all work for the government and my contribution is the cheque enclosed with this form. The tax officer returned the form as incomplete.

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