BUSINESS

‘Holistic plan’ or government wish list?

ELENI VARVITSIOTIS

TAGS: Finance, Economy, Politics

The government’s 110-page so-called “holistic plan,” titled “Greece: Growth Plan for the Future” and which Kathimerini has seen, is more of a wish list than an integrated strategy for the country to regain its footing and emerge from the bailouts.

The bulk of the document, which has been amended twice following interventions by the European Commission, refers to the past and all the reforms implemented to date. The section featuring specific data on the reforms to apply in future is rather short, while the quantification of the targets is minimal.

Using terms such as “fair and exclusion-free growth,” “promotion of a socially orientated economy” and “greening the economy,” the government is eager to put its ideological stamp on a plan that keeps open the possibility of an increase to the minimum salary and the renegotiation of collective labor contracts.

The sectors which it says are expected to bring the economy back to robust growth, such as transport and supplies, energy, food and agriculture, manufacturing, shipping, pharmaceuticals, health, environment, tourism and culture, are described with little in the way of data regarding their growth; it becomes obvious that this is merely an amalgamation of the various targets each ministry has set, instead of a cohesive analysis of which direction the economy should take.

The plan provides for easing capital controls, for the creation of a development bank, for the completion of the zoning plans and the National Cadaster by 2021, and 13.1 percent average annual growth in investments up to 2022.

Among the few investments on which there are specific figures in the plan regarding the revenues it will fetch is the cultivation and manufacturing of cannabis for medical purposes.

An interesting aspect is that the monitoring and assessment of the plan “will be conducted by a high-level political committee under the prime minister’s control,” as the final page of the document declares, while on a technical level the monitoring of reforms will be undertaken by the General Secretariat for Coordination.

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