An upbeat look

Some aspects of public life inspire optimism while others – greater in number – are a cause for concern. Structural deficits, bad management, faltering productivity, and lack of professionalism all inject a pessimistic tone. But even in such an insecure and gloomy environment, an independent observer can still discern glimmerings of progress and rebirth in the productive forces. The Olympics preparations, which have been for the most part costly and problematic, still created the conditions for optimism. Despite the tight time frame, the Games offered many opportunities to a large number of people. A great number of engineers, technicians, and regular workers have been working on complex and very demanding projects and under extreme time pressure, gaining precious experience. A plethora of executives will have a chance to coordinate and carry out complex telecommunications connections, to cooperate with big global networks, and to familiarize themselves with the latest in telecommunications technology. Those in charge of supply systems for large groups of people, like Olympic teams or the thousands of foreign journalists who will flock to the capital, will have a similar opportunity. One could cite dozens of examples to demonstrate the wealth of experience that will be acquired at the collective and individual levels. The transport projects themselves – regardless of construction costs – will decongest traffic, cut travel times, and increase productivity in Attica. Infrastructure projects in the countryside will have a similar effect. No doubt Greece has opportunities to exploit, as long as some things change such as methods and organization. Rules have to be set up and people’s imaginations stimulated, while still-idle productive forces must be mobilized.