OPINION

Populism backfires

The increase in debts owed to the Public Power Corporation (PPC) by Greece’s households and small businesses appears to confirm concerns regarding the corrosive influence of the “I won’t pay” mentality.

We are not talking here about individuals and businesses that cannot afford to pay their bills, but rather those who do not wish to pay on principle.

The problem is not limited to electricity bills, but is gradually impacting on the ENFIA property tax, VAT and other taxes.

The SYRIZA-led government is trying to appeal to people’s sense of patriotism to make them pay up. Its efforts are being hindered by its earlier support for the “I won’t pay” movement (from road tolls to public transport tickets).

Now the time has come for the government to convince these people to drop their expectations – that is if it wants to see the state operating on at least a basic level.