NEWS

Israel’s exemplary economic model

Israel, which has economic problems on top of its ongoing conflict with the Palestinians, has for several years now been promoting a very clever model combining the old and new economies. Alongside traditional factories, the State encourages the development of smaller companies or even independent businessmen specializing in new technologies – that is, connected to the «global village» via the Internet. These small units offer the traditional manufacturer a range of services that the firm itself would need to invest a lot of time and money to develop. The new network of firms, which work in harmony, injects dynamism into the local economy, using its flexibility to import and quickly assimilate new technologies, while constituting a part of the global village. As far as Greece is concerned, Tel Aviv has pledged to transfer the experiences it has gained from this model if there is enough interest on the Greek side. Despite being caught up in a conflict situation, Israel continues its attempts to forecast the scientific and technological sectors likely to undergo swift development in the future – such as nanotechnology. Meanwhile it continues to seek, recruit and organize the best scientists and businessmen specializing in new technologies, and to support them in developing their qualities. Basically, it is laying the foundations that will allow it to actively contribute to developments in new technologies over the next few decades. This is all somewhat depressing to us Greeks who have witnessed our government’s performance in managing the future of our economy, which has been boosted with streams of financial aid from Brussels in the hope that it would undertake similarly creative initiatives. But a new package unveiled recently by Economy Minister Nikos Christodoulakis seems a mere carbon copy of previous offerings by the same government, proposing the tidying up of state enterprises and the «upgrading» of turnover and profits with a view to privatizations and swift fund raising to pay for a pre-election campaign. And this particular tactic may well reap some short-term benefits for the coffers of the government (and ruling party?) but it cannot contribute toward the establishment of a robust economy which helps local businesses achieve prosperity and ensures jobs for the future in a country where unemployment has become society’s biggest problem.