George Stathakis studied Economics at the Athens University of Economics and Business and received a PhD in Economics from Newcastle University, U.K. He was a visiting professor at the Centre of European Studies, Harvard University, as well as at the Centre for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, City University of New York. His research focused mainly on economic history, economic development and economic theory. He has published widely on these fields and some of his major works include the book To dogma Truman kai to shedio Marshall. I Istoria tis Amerikanikis Voithias stin Ellada [The Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan. The History of American Aid to Greece] (Vivliorama, Athens 2004), Atelesforos Eksyghronismos [Unfruitful Modernization] (Vivliorama, Athens 2007) and two volumes as co-author, Economic Development and Social Change: Historical Roots and Modern Perspectives (Routledge, London 2006) and The Reform of CAP and Rural Development in Southern Europe (Ashgate, Aldershot 2003).
In 1989 he was a member of the Council of Economic Experts formed by the Ministry of Economy of the Hellenic Republic. Since 1988 he has been teaching Economics at the University of Crete. He was elected President of the Department of Economic Sciences at said University during the period 2000-2004 and later on, in 2011-2012, he served as Vice-Rector. His political engagement grew stronger over the years at both local and national level. He was elected MP for the first time in the national elections of 2012 and sat on the Parliamentary Committee on state-owned enterprises, banks, public utility enterprises and social security agencies. In the national elections of January 2015, he was re-elected MP representing his home region of Chania and was appointed Minister for National Economy, Infrastructure, Maritime Affairs and Tourism. After the national elections of September 2015 he was re-elected MP and he is re-appointed Minister of Economy, Development and Tourism of the Hellenic Republic.