OPINION

A watchdog for government spending

One can only welcome the latest initiative by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras to introduce a monitoring system designed to regulate government spending.

The failure of successive governments to keep an eye on and prevent unchecked spending ? which has habitually taken place without prior approval from the central authorities ? has always been at the heart of Greece?s financial melee and the brutal austerity measures demanded today by the nation?s international creditors.

The country has suffered a chronic fiscal derailment, whether it?s spending by hospitals or municipalities, and, needless to say, the burgeoning cost has been passed on to Greek taxpayers.

The new monitoring system comes as an initiative of the conservative-led coalition government.

The fact is such a watchdog should have been in place for years, and should have been installed long before the arrival of the troika?s inspectors and the painful bailout agreements.