ECONOMY

Fighting corruption needs an open system and change of rules

«Corruption can only be tackled with a change of rules in an open system,» former PASOK economy and defense minister Gerasimos Arsenis told an event this week. The aim of the one-day conference on «Governance, Transparency and Development,» organized by the Institute of Research and Political Strategy for Development and Governance (INERPOST), was to explore the possibilities toward policies capable of bolstering investment and competitiveness, and also attaining the broadest possible consensus. «The symptoms of corruption that are observed in many countries, and not just in Greece, are the result of pathogens in the operation of the system,» said Arsenis, who is the chairman of INERPOST. Other contributors noted that the application of the correct policies often meets with strong reaction in Greece. «Greeks do not believe in market deregulation but, fortunately, this is imposed by the European Union,» said Federation of Greek Industries President Odysseas Kyriakopoulos. «The EU dictates fortunately redress the situation,» concurred former EU social affairs commissioner Vasso Papandreou. Rolf Alter, deputy director-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), said Greece has made considerable steps toward market deregulation but that much remains to be done. Athens University of Economics and Business professor Yiannis Katsoulakos said, «OECD studies have shown that a reduction in regulation in Greece could lead to a 10 percent boost in GDP.» Synaspismos Left Coalition MP Yiannis Dragasakis begged to differ. «Progress depends on cooperation and solidarity. The sanctification of competition is dangerous one-sidedness,» he said. The contributions will be used in a study that will be published next year.