Cutting away the dead weight

Government promises to shut down state entities that no longer serve any meaningful purpose have started to sound like a bad joke. The reason is that no minister wants to be held accountable for an unpopular decision to shut down a government agency.

Whenever Greece’s international creditors put pressure on the government to cut down on state spending by closing down defunct entities, Greek officials seem to respond by circulating various lists with the names of organizations that have no employees. Such lists are automatically followed by a debate about mergers that will mean zero savings for state coffers.

Greek taxpayers can no longer afford to sustain useless organizations and employees who do absolutely nothing. And they are fed up with reading about the various lists when they know that no real steps will be taken to streamline the civil service.