Tuesday December 23, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
13o C
8o 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)  
Klaus Regling stresses debt sustainability through commitment to reforms
‘Crisis of confidence will come back again and again,’ says Thomas Piketty
Who lost Greece
Snubbing the moderates
Gov´t seeks better result in second presidential vote as bribe claim probe shelved
With all political parties now actively preparing for the prospect of snap elections, MPs are to vote in the second ballot of a critical three-phase presidential vote at noon on Tuesday. The...
Civil servants to grade evaluation scheme
As of Monday, Greek civil servants are now able to have a say in the public sector evaluation scheme that is currently undergoing fine-tuning by the Ministry of Administrative Reform. By log...
Inside News
October data show fleeing bondholders
October data compiled by the Bank of Greece confirm that foreign investors are letting go of their Greek bonds, as within just one month the country’s central bank recorded an outflow of 1.7...
Expired debts to the state soar to more than 72 bln euros
Households’ inability to keep up with their tax payments combined with anticipation of the new repayment plans, which were finally announced a few weeks ago, led to expired debts to the stat...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Special day for Abidal, lucky one for PAOK
PAOK scraped through its Livadia challenge beating Levadiakos to remain on top of the Super League for Christmas, one point ahead of Olympiakos that enjoyed a great game at Kalloni and offer...
BASKETBALL
Explosive Barca unfazed by Panathinaikos, bomb scare
Panathinaikos lost 80-67 at home to Barcelona on Friday in a rather meaningless game at the end of the first group stage of the Euroleague, but the encounter will be remembered for the bomb ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. October data show fleeing bondholders
2. Expired debts to the state soar to more than 72 bln euros
3. First four contracts to fund small firms signed by IfG and banks
4. Investors putting plans on hold
5. Gov´t seeks better result in second presidential vote as bribe claim probe shelved
6. Civil servants to grade evaluation scheme
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greek parliament vote in balance after Samaras election offer
2. Euro shaky on ECB and Greece, dollar keeps edge
3. Prosecutor gathers depositions in Independent Greeks 'bribe' probe
4. Government accuses SYRIZA and Independent Greeks of 'clear alliance'
5. Klaus Regling stresses debt sustainability through commitment to reforms
6. Draghi starts squaring QE circle in month of persuasion for ECB
Today
This Week
1. Samaras summons bond vigilantes with euro exit talk
2. High stakes
3. Europe's drama in Greece needs final act to avoid tragedy
4. On the edge but not gutless
5. Ship with 200 migrants off Pylos towed to Italy after passengers refuse to stop in Greece
6. Greek PM offers compromise solution with elections by end-2015
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.