Lack of credibility

Economic policy makers that have been part of numerous Greek governments have an age-old habit which, it has to be said, borders on the ridiculous.

They tend to announce all sorts of socially-minded measures in a bid to fill voters with hope and enthusiasm when it is very far from certain that the governments they serve actually have the ability or the economic resources to see these pledges through.

Greece’s SYRIZA-led administration recently had to turn back on an a promise it made to reduce road tax this year. Before that, the administration had been forced to renege on a promise to reduce tax on heating oil. These two were not isolated incidents.

The nation’s verbose politicians should keep in mind that their credibility is the first victim when about-turns of this sort occur. For this reason, they should make policy announcements only when they are really prepared to deliver on what they are promising – or what they are dreaming of, for that matter.