OPINION

Future of the economy

The economic situation definitely appears to be improving, as observed in national accounting figures and the balance sheets of businesses and commercial banks. It is also evident from the upward swing in the markets, including the stock market, and the revival of business prospects. The improvement is due to international trends, the removal of many of the uncertainties that have prevailed over the past three years around the world, the check on terrorism, the outcome of the war in Iraq, the return to normal conditions in the oil market, the boost to tourism, the apparent revival of the US economy and its positive effect on Europe and on the domestic front, the large number of state and Olympic projects, the steady increase in economic activity, higher demand for goods and services, and the efforts, albeit halfhearted, at reorganizing sectors of business activity. One could forecast fairly confidently that at least until next year’s Olympic Games, economic conditions will continue to improve, creating a more positive economic climate. The question remains, of course, as to whether these conditions can stay the course. The greatest danger for the Greek economy is if it stagnates after the Games when the country has to start paying for the party. This very real danger is already visible for many people, the result of wasted money. Even if these fears prove to be excessive, the government should take precautions and give some thought to the day after, despite the growing election campaign. The improved economic climate should not be frittered away, but should be used to build foundations for a more stable economic revival. Conditions are ripe for reconstruction, which should be done now while things are on the upswing. Otherwise there is the risk of darkness falling on the Greek economy as soon as the Olympic flame goes out.