OPINION

Growth doesn’t need state support

Despite warnings to the contrary from the opposition, Greece did not go into a recession after the 2004 Olympic Games. The growth rate has remained steady, as well as being the second highest in the European Union. However, there is a subtle but real distinction between the growth rate as we know it now and that of the past. While under PASOK administrations the high growth rate was fed by state investments, these days the positive results are due more to the way the market itself functions. The profitability of the 200 firms listed on the Athens Stock Exchange is evidence that the country is moving away from growth based on state support, with more positive results for the national economy from the private sector. The market is responding well to the measures taken to deregulate it. It is creating new conditions in the Greek economy. Business firms’ increasing profitability bodes well for more and greater investments, particularly in tourism, the touchstone of growth. That is why the state should support this trend, to create further opportunities for growth. The government’s efforts now should focus on doing away with all obstacles that still prevent the market from functioning normally. The state should take a closer look at the legislative decrees issued over the years that allow for state intervention, as well as the bureaucracy that still plagues potential investors. The economy has shown that it can grow without any help from the state. Is that what the politicians also want?