OPINION

Failure to rein in prices

The painful measures introduced at the demand of Greece?s lenders would no doubt be easier to tolerate if prices had adjusted to the new economic reality.

However prices have not dropped to the extent they should have. Greece remains expensive for those who live here but also for those who travel here as visitors.

There are many reasons for this and they are clearly not limited to soaring taxes and the rise in VAT levels. High prices are partly due to the fact that Greece imports a lot while at the same time producing very little. The main reason however lies with oligopolies which determine prices and output, the role of closed professions, the economy?s structural shortcomings, the red tape, and the large percentage of self-employed.

Salaried workers have shouldered their part of the burden. It?s now time for the government to finally move ahead with the much-delayed reforms. This is necessary to make the economy more competitive while reducing the cost of living.