A promising boost for the economy

The reaction of opposition PASOK as regards what Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis managed to «bring back» from the recent European Union summit in Brussels conceals a meanness of spirit as well as confusion. According to an official PASOK statement, Karamanlis «didn’t attempt to make any negotiations» (this is despite the fact that the real battle in Brussels was between the bloc’s major players) and «returned with a real loss as regards (Europe’s) Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) even though no final decision was made on this subject. The truth is that the government succeeded in securing the best possible deal, clinching just over the 20 billion euros that PASOK leader George Papandreou had warned should be the minimum to accept. Within a framework of compromise (which has been the EC’s fundamental tool since its foundation), it was agreed that the beginning of 2009 would see the launch of an «overall review» of the EU budget, chiefly to focus upon reducing the funds earmarked for CAP reform as well as the Fourth Community Support Framework; savings would then be channeled into business, research and the development of new technologies. Overall, the conclusions reached at the Brussels summit are good for Greece, for now. But we must look beyond the present, and this does not just go for the government and opposition but for the Greek state in general. The major challenge now is proving our ability to make the best possible use of EU funds to boost growth in our country.