OPINION

Enlargement perils

The expected enlargement of the European Union poses a double threat. The first is a practical one, related to the need to redistribute the available resources for structural funds, agricultural production, the fight against unemployment, and the promotion of technology. If the size of the member states’ contributions remains steady, as current indications suggest, and considering that the new countries will be net recipients, the much-touted Community funds will evaporate. This, of course, does not mean that Greece will cease to be a candidate for subsidies. But not the entire country; only the most depressed areas will be entitled to subsidies. The inflow of funds we receive today for a considerable part of our agricultural production will cease. Some capital will, of course, still be channeled into reinforcing some advanced sectors and specific actions that are deemed necessary if Europe is to win the wager of competitiveness against the United States. And this is the second peril posed by the expansion. In order to have realistic hopes of keeping Community funds we need to have convincing business plans, a high-quality labor force, effective administrative organization and well-organized infrastructure. It is normal that in a war, like the one taking place in the globalized economy, you only trust valuable equipment to the one who is most capable of achieving the goal… The meeting on Thursday lasted 85 minutes and afterward government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told reporters that «further meetings will be held whenever it is deemed necessary.»