Investor allergy

COMMENT

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras appears to believe that wrapping up the review of Greece’s bailout program will allow the country to return to economic growth. He needs a reality check. If the economy has been able to weather the left-led administration’s damaging experiments, it was thanks to its robust tourism industry and the introduction of pro-business reforms in the previous couple of years.

All that the SYRIZA-led government has done since climbing to power was holding up or putting off foreign investment. Now it is trying to make a U-turn. It won’t be easy because Tsipras has picked the disastrous path of higher taxes and social security contributions.

Notwithstanding the false policy mix, no serious observer deems that this government can attract credible investors and put Greece back on a growth path. In fact, there seem to be three types of officials: those who think that investors are here for third-world horse-trading; those who are simply disinterested; and those who openly sabotage entrepreneurship, privatizations and foreign investments. There is very little that could come out of this.

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