A section of the country’s political elite – particularly members of the once-dominant PASOK which is now the junior partner of the conservative-led coalition government – are insisting on trying to square the circle.
A number of PASOK officials want to cut taxes, but without shrinking the state. This of course cannot happen unless – as has often been the case in the past – public sector wages are brought down so that junior staff and general secretaries receive more or less the same salary.
Since the dawn of the financial crisis, the vast majority of Greece’s politicians have tried to protect the interests of their clients doing business in the broader public sector while at the same time overtaxing the rest of society.
But however you may try, you cannot square the circle. The time has come for all politicians to take some very uncomfortable or even tough decisions, even those who have systematically evaded them.