BUSINESS

Government’s holistic growth plan derided

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Politics, Economy

The government’s so-called holistic growth plan for the period after the bailout ends in August is being slammed as nothing but an effort to serve partisan objectives and to restore ruling SYRIZA’s leftist credentials.

Moreover, it has reportedly not been well-received by the institutions.

According to the online edition of German business magazine Wirtschaftswoche, the plan is derided as merely a declaration of intentions. It quoted an EU official as saying it is “not worth the paper it is written on.”

The magazine also said it was “weird” that the growth strategy presented by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is, among other things, based on the assumption that the legalization of medical cannabis will attract 1.5 billion euros in investments.

The text of the plan, which Kathimerini has seen, appears to target a domestic audience rather than the institutions or the markets.

And, tellingly, a large part of it deals with labor issues, prompting criticism that the government is trying to restore its leftist credentials, which have been put to the sword by three harsh years of bailout austerity.

According to the plan’s introductory text, the growth strategy would not be complete without a social pillar – not only for reasons of social justice but for growth too, given that low wages and a lack of labor rights do not help productivity.

The government’s growth strategy also includes the implementation of a new minimum wage framework in the third trimester of 2018, as well as the restoration of collective bargaining in the same period, among other ideas.

A rise in the minimum wage is justified, the plan says, by the improvement of the Greek economy. It will also stem the flow of young people out of the country in search of better prospects in other EU countries.

Online