September 10, 2013
It is a common belief in sciences, politics and economics, and definitely in decision-making, that when you do not know where you head on, the most possible outcome is that you will take the worse decision. This is the way austerity politics are paving, and especially, this is the way the European Union has chosen to follow. And at the end of the day, one thing is certain: that there is no plan.
As we have repeatedly stated in this blog, it is not only Germany, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands or any other member-state that has to be blamed for implementing and imposing austerity politics. And it is not austerity politics per se to blame; It is mainly the lack of a chain of actions or counter-actions that have to accompany austerity. The remedy has its limits and when these limits are reached, we ought to change remedy.
In Greece, there is no plan for the state. In its last visits, the troika has called for massive layoffs in order to further reduce the cost of the public sector. The government has faithfully agreed to proceed, but after troika left the reality came into surface: how is the government planning to proceed to massive layoffs? What is the actual plan? What are the social repercussions? What is the final outcome in real terms?
The lack of decisiveness has pressed the Greek government to alter the very meaning of “layoffs” which has turned to be the mingling and matching of the same employees into different positions in the public sector so that it can create the image of mobility, and therefore, the image of layoffs. It is the same reality that the Greek government is afraid to deal with: that it cannot dissolve the social net and take decisions that count for thousands of lives just for the sake of numbers.From this reality until the reality that troika brings in Athens every now and then, there is one common thing: there is no plan.
Similarly, there is no plan for the banks. Funds that have been given for recapitalization, both from the citizens through taxation and the repatriation of capitals are now sent back to the European Central Bank for paying out the consecutive loans. And as there is no plan for growth, all available funds can easily go in vain, as banks might be soon obliged to re-consider their network and start closing branches all over the country in order to reduce cost.
Further, there is no plan for privatizaton. Discussions over discussions, speculations over speculations, in a quest to show that “yes, we can” and on the other side in strife of keeping public property intact. In place of reforms that would increase the value of public fortune, the government is “praying” for the potential buyers to show up. Meanwhile, the Greek government sells strategic fields of public fortune, such as natural gas and gambling, while significant sources of income like the Elliniko Complex are ruined and declined, remaining something between dumps and parking lots for deserted aircrafts.
What would a country do in such a condition? Between huge loan obligations, increased extremism, poverty, and sky-rocketed unemployment? A country which is plunged into chaos? It could simply prepare a strategic plan for exit. A strategic plan to build growth step by step. A strategic plan to take advantage of its youth and educated people, farmers and civil servants. A national strategic plan to address this humiliation. In the contrary, the only plan is the one of complete destruction. If things keep going like, Greece will dissolve into a pitiful, extremely weak state, a pariah of the Western world.Dimitris Rapidis