A recent report published by the Good Country Index (GCI) shows Greece ranking 32nd out of a total of 163 countries. The GCI project was founded by independent political analyst Simon Anholt with the support of international organizations and is based on data provided by the United Nations and the World Bank.
While the project’s title could be interpreted as a reference to a morality crisis, this couldn’t be further away from what the GCI has set out to do. The project’s principal criterion is to what extent a state presents a positive contribution to the global community and the human race through its policies and behavior, based on its population and its GDP, as well as through the prism of the following categories: Science and technology, culture, world peace and security, world order, planet and climate, prosperity and equality, and health and well-being. According to its founder, a good country is one that makes a real contribution to humanity while serving its own interests and never going against those of other nations or their natural resources. This, says Anholt, is the new law of human survival.
The project’s most recent research shows Sweden earning the top spot and Libya the last. Cyprus stands at No 15. Following Sweden, the top 10 list showcases Denmark, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, France, Austria and Canada. The United States ranks 20th (for more information, visit www.goodcountry.org).
Greece’s performance is not bad at all considering the country's tough economic position and the broad sense of despair felt by its people, with the most serious consequence being the so-called “brain drain,” the massive outflow of its most creative people, as reported in Wednesday’s Kathimerini.
Reports such as the one published by the GCI act as a reminder that despite a generalized sense of failure, today’s bankrupt Greece, with all its enraging malaises, has accomplished quite a bit over the last decades. One thing should be pointed out, however: the “brain drain” existed well before the arrival of the crisis. Perhaps it was not evident to such a dramatic degree but young people have always gone abroad in search of a brighter future – and this has been one of the most serious failures of post-dictatorship Greece.
The reasons for this includes low-quality education, a lack of meritocracy, corruption and the state’s hostile stance vis-a-vis entrepreneurship and scientific research, among so many others. Even if, miraculously, the financial crisis was to be resolved, the aforementioned malaises would still linger on.
A serious, future government would also be judged for its management of these issues, which have been plaguing the country for decades.