OPINION

Last chance

The country’s major state-backed operations may be called public utilities (DEKO) but in reality the benefits to the economy are dubious and limited. Indeed, the excessive deficits produced by these organizations are a burden on taxpayers and have been linked to disturbing cases of wasted funds, mismanagement and irregularities. Meanwhile, ministers always seem to regard these businesses as a playing field for pursuing personal political ambitions and make decisions to satisfy personal and party requirements. New legislation aimed at purging the DEKO sector is an attempt to bring about a significant change by disengaging DEKOs from the public sector. It basically imposes their transformation into businesses run by capable staff aimed at best maximizing the capital at their disposal, whether the funds be from the state, individuals or insurance companies. It should be borne in mind that in the past certain governments had attempted to purge DEKOs, but with little success because their good intentions were not accompanied by political initiatives. Meanwhile, dynamic developments were under way in Europe and now almost all the sectors in which DEKOs operate – with the exception of public transport – are being liberalized. For this reason, the reform and purging of DEKOs is necessary and inevitable. This is the last chance for major state companies to prove that they can survive in an increasingly competitive market. It is also the last chance for the government, which must not lose this battle by yielding to a myriad of pressures. The imposition of more efficient management across the broader public sector is an extremely pressing issue of national concern.