Economic reform a one-way street

The government’s policy of economic reforms has become something of a one-way street. As some of his close aides have confirmed, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is determined to progress swiftly and decisively in this direction, neither due to some political dogma nor in an effort to appear tough but because he is convinced of the need for major changes and reforms. The country’s huge public deficit and the mass of structural problems that had been buried by a series of PASOK governments now oblige the government to take decisive action. It seems clear that Karamanlis was not simply trying to make an impression by declaring that he would push through significant reforms without considering the political cost. It appears also that the premier is trying to send out a message to New Democracy-affiliated unions who object to imminent reforms and to unions from opposition camps. And the party’s political leadership had been promoting the war that the government has waged against top levels of the public sector. According to government officials who have been working closely with the prime minister in planning strategic economic reforms, Karamanlis believes that, in view of the fiscal situation and dramatic delays in modernizing the economy, the reforms are in line with the government’s general policy of «mild adjustment» and certainly a far cry from the «neo-liberal» stance held by some ND figures…

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