Wednesday August 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
29o C
23o 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)  
Logged out of reality
Manipulated institutions
The responsibility of the West
Skewed taxes
Dutch spend 461,000 euros to fence off King´s Greek holiday home
The Dutch government paid 461,000 euros ($615,000) to erect a fence around King Willem-Alexander’s seaside villa in southern Greece, RTL News reported on Wednesday, drawing media criticism a...
Police detain suspects over Kardamyli double murder [Update]
Police investigating the murder of two men whose bodies were found dumped on Monday night in a ravine on the outskirts of Kalamata in the Peloponnese said on Wednesday that they had detained...
Inside News
Only fraction of debtors declare bank accounts to avert confiscation
Out of some 3.3 million Greeks with debts to the state, only around 80,000 have declared to tax authorities a single bank account whose savings -- up to a 1,500-euro limit -- would be protec...
Russian sanctions seen giving EU 6.7 billion hit in ING estimate
Russia’s ban on imports of western food could cost the European Union an annual 6.7 billion euros ($9 billion) in lost production, according to ING Groep NV. “The potential effects of the Ru...
Inside Business
ATHLETICS
Long jumper Tsatoumas takes Greece´s second silver at European Championships
Greece won its second medal at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, on Sunday with Louis Tsatoumas coming second in the long jump. Briton Greg Rutherford won the even...
SWIMMING
Silver for Greece in 5k team event at European Swimming Championships
Greece claimed the silver in the team 5 kilometer event at the 32nd European Swimming Championships in Berlin on Saturday. The Greek team of Spyros Gianniotis, Antonis Fokaidis and Kalliopi ...
Inside Sports
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Dutch spend 461,000 euros to fence off King´s Greek holiday home
2. Police detain suspects over Kardamyli double murder [Update]
3. Only fraction of debtors declare bank accounts to avert confiscation
4. Russian sanctions seen giving EU 6.7 billion hit in ING estimate
5. Syrian chemicals were safely destroyed off Crete, says OPCW
6. Greek firms see 30 pct rise in PayPal payments from abroad in 2014
more news
Today
This Week
1. Two missing men found shot dead near Kalamata
2. Greek current account surplus widens in June
3. Logged out of reality
4. Greek firms see 30 pct rise in PayPal payments from abroad in 2014
5. ECB in policy limbo, boxed in by its own plans
6. Greece to give children at primary school road safety lessons
Today
This Week
1. Carved sphinxes at Ancient Amphipolis tomb will not be removed
2. Samaras expects 'exceptionally important find' at Ancient Amphipolis
3. Rhodes villa built for Mussolini among properties Greek privatization fund is selling
4. Canada’s fiscal adjustment has lessons for Greece
5. Treating Amphipolis with care
6. Greece to offer law on restructuring bad loans next month
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.