Idle management

Despite the gloom and doom promulgated by Socialist officials and their cronies, the Greek economy is on an upswing. Predictions of economic recession, soaring unemployment and EU fines have failed to materialize. Rather, the growth rate is three times higher than the EU average (notwithstanding that the Olympic Games are history), public spending is under control, business prospects are brighter, the stock market is going up, and investments – both public and private – are catching up. Still, more could be done. «The better is the enemy of the good,» the late Constantine Karamanlis used to say. However, the conservatives’ management of the economy is often worse than slow. Sluggish is the word. Two years have passed since New Democracy came to power and although the growth rate remains low (ND had pledged 5 percent growth), the government has failed to mobilize all means at its disposal. The old airport and the racetrack are gradually turning into dumps instead of luxury homes, recreation centers, hotels and shopping malls. The Olympic properties, which cost billions of euros, have been left to rust as the government is reluctant to sell them. Public utilities continue to accumulate debts, as money goes into the pockets of conservative party appointees. Plans to sell Olympic Airlines have been shelved. Many promised reforms, including banks’ social security reform, are still just on paper. Instead of promoting privatizations that would attract foreign capital, the government insists on listing companies on the stock market, which is good for cash, not growth. The energy sector has attracted little private investment, while the new deputy development minister has not been given the go-ahead to draft policy. Foreign investment and competitiveness are faltering, while bureaucracy is king. It’s time ND improved its management of the economy.