Tuesday October 21, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Justifying the doomsayers by default

By Paschos Mandravelis

The decision by the government to allow retail stores in central Athens and other cities to stay open much later than usual on the last Saturday of 2013 did not spell the end of the world. In fact, the public and business owners seemed delighted. The former swarmed to central shopping districts, perused window displays, hung out at coffee shops and eateries, and did some shopping, while the latter saw a bit more money in their tills. The Greek capital shone with Christmas lights and buzzed with energy, and just a handful of doomsayers protested on a dark corner of Syntagma Square.

Every time a step is taken to deregulate the market, two things happen: citizens acquire more choices and doomsayers spell disaster. It happened in 1993 with the liberalization of telephony. But today, we don’t have to wait anything between five or 10 years to get a telephone connection and we have companies scrambling to secure our business. The same happened with the sale of Olympic Airways, with the doomsayers going as far as arguing that the privatization of the state carrier would put the country’s islands at risk of invasion. Of course Olympic’s privatization did not go as smoothly as it might have done, but from 2008 to the present Greek taxpayers have been spared some 2.8 billion euros in damages. We would have been spared another 5.6 billion euros if the sale had gone ahead in 1998 as it should have.

More recently, a measure allowing stores to open on Sundays has been the target of the doomsayers, yet a recent survey by the Thessaloniki Chamber of Commerce published in Kathimerini suggested that 70 percent of retailers in the northern port city claim to be pleased by the decision.

Of course, every change inevitably brings bad with good and there is every reason for people to question whether the changes will negatively affect workers’ rights. Unions, meanwhile, must to be on the lookout at all times for labor rights violations and maintain the pressure on the authorities to safeguard workers. Instead, the doomsayers and unions expend their energies on rearguard battles as ministers and deputies put pressure on labor inspectors to turn a blind eye to violations so that the liberalization drive is not disparaged.

And so, liberalization – which is so important to the economy – is conducted without rules and at the expense of workers and the public interest.

The problem is that the system (led by the governing powers) takes the doomsayers way too seriously. Market deregulation is constantly delayed and the result is deeper recession and even more unemployment, therefore justifying the doomsayers by default.

ekathimerini.com , Tuesday Jan 7, 2014 (10:06)  
Stop moaning and get in the game
Exorcising the ghosts
Greece’s closed society is central to its current malaise
Between West and East
Wage dispute hurts gov’t unity before troika return
Changes to the public sector wage structure are at the heart of a dispute within the coalition that has raised concerns about whether the government will be in a position to negotiate effect...
Most Britons want to see Parthenon Marbles back in Athens, poll shows
The majority of Britons think that their country should return the Parthenon Marbles to Greece, a new poll has found. According to the survey, which was conducted by the YouGov international...
Inside News
ANALYSIS
At loggerheads over role of the IMF
The Greek coalition government’s plan for a clean exit from the European Union / International Monetary Fund program was dealt a deadly blow by the markets last week on the back of rising po...
Hong Kong telecom group buys out Greek start-up
Hong Kong-based telecommunications multinational PCCW Global has announced it has bought out Greek start-up Crypteia Networks, aiming to incorporate its products into the group’s portfolio. ...
Inside Business
BASKETBALL
PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
Olympiakos is once again in the lookout for a new coach after the refusal of PAOK to release Soulis Markopoulos, while Panathinaikos defeated Kolossos on Rhodes on Monday to become the only ...
BASKETBALL
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
Nea Kifissia recorded the biggest win of its short history in the top flight defeating Olympiakos 68-67 on Sunday, in a Basket League weekend marred by the abandonment of the Thessaloniki de...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. PAOK fans stop coach Markopoulos´s move to Olympiakos
2. At loggerheads over role of the IMF
3. Hong Kong telecom group buys out Greek start-up
4. Local tourism could see more arrivals, investments next year
5. Troika exerts pressure using return date
6. Wage dispute hurts gov’t unity before troika return
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
2. Bakers encircle Thessaloniki's White Tower with giant 'koulouri'
3. Turkish vessel enters Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone
4. European leaders pivot back to debt crisis after wake-up call
5. Hardouvelis does not see 'big surprises' in ECB stress tests
6. Stop moaning and get in the game
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction
3. Greece nearing bailout exit, says gov't spokesperson after IMF talks
4. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
5. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
6. GPO poll gives SYRIZA clear lead over New Democracy
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.