When Prime Minister Costas Simitis tries to impart to the public the idea that Greece is now a powerful country with considerable global leverage, he knows well that he is projecting an illusive image. But no one can prevent the political elite from advertising themselves and from cultivating a fantasy which probably also bolsters their own morale. Greece, then, is not powerful, nor could it become powerful merely because of four years of reformist policy-making. Our country lacks a healthy production base; it does not yet have a modern and effective administration; it does not have a modern transport system; it does not have basic infrastructure to tackle extraordinary natural phenomena like heavy rainfall; it has not mapped out genuine policies for regional development… it has a high jobless rate; the income of Greek farmers is half of the EU average; the national health system (ESY) is highly problematic and at the heart of all problems lies its capital, Athens, a cement jungle in which is concentrated half of Greece’s population – a fact which is incompatible with all rhetoric over impending regional development. With a minimum of productive contribution to the European Union and, by extension, with minor political power within the EU, Greece inevitably occupies the lowest placement in EU statistics in many sectors… Giorgos Mavrotas, captain of the Vouliagmeni club which has reached the quarter- finals of the Cup Winners Cup, shared the view.

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