The reduction in the number of employees in the country’s notoriously oversized and ineffective public sector between 2009 and 2013 has been spectacular. The drop in the number of civil servants – which is one of the key demands of Greece’s international lenders – has naturally brought down state spending, in combination with public sector salary cuts.
However, the downsizing alone does not automatically mean there has been an improvement in the overall performance of Greece’s public administration.
If we want a better, more efficient state, then we need to introduce far-reaching structural reforms, we need to do away with administrative red tape, and we need a change in mentality.
To be sure, a lot remains to be done in order to remedy, or at least improve, all of the above. A transformation of this magnitude is a challenging task, but it is nevertheless absolutely essential.