OPINION

Bold moves needed to curb public debt

The government’s ongoing struggle to reduce its budget deficit and the country’s public debt is entirely understandable and necessary. The aim is not only to adhere to European Union directives and norms but also to cleanse our economic system, which is the only basis for real growth (and not the figures produced through creative accounting). A tighter incomes policy, strict controls on public spending, a rationalization of the state’s investment program and the implementation of structural changes are all on the agenda. But what we are actually seeing in practice is the state’s role being compromised – not so much with the aim of boosting production but with the short-term goal of boosting state coffers. This struggle to reduce our debt has been going on for years, but the «beast» has proved to be stronger than those attempting to tame it. Indeed, the so-called «bold» measures heralded every now and again never get a chance to be fully implemented, possibly because the process stalls every time elections approach. A measure that would be extremely effective in the long term would be an effective and fair taxation system to crack down on tax evasion (currently at 20 percent of gross domestic product). If this problem alone were properly tackled, it could possibly yield enough to cover our national debts.