Call for timely reform
The quarterly report on the state of the economy by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), released yesterday, raises the alarm about prospects in the immediate aftermath of the Olympic Games but also provides hope that the Games might, in the long run, benefit the economy. The reasons for concern include a drop in demand following the completion of Olympics-related projects, an estimation that staging the Games will not boost economic activity immediately and concern about excessive spending in the runup to the Games. IOBE, however, remarks that staging the Games could be beneficial in the long run, provided Greece succeeds in attracting capital and investments. IOBE, a think tank affiliated with the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), also calls on the government to take urgent steps to cut spending, including spending on defense, and asks that it pursue its promised fiscal and structural reforms. The IOBE report holds that the economic policies the government will pursue from September onward will be crucial in boosting a pro-growth, investment-friendly climate. If, it says, the government sends the message that it will decisively change those sectors that suffer from long-term structural weaknesses, prospects will brighten. «What is needed is a complete, coherent program of reforms that will mobilize productive forces,» the report says.