OPINION

State cartel and reliability

The comments yesterday by the head of the Federation of Greek Industries (SEV), who criticized the burden of state monopolies on the national economy, were both useful and true. The mammoth debts of state corporations have put a hefty strain on state finances. Meanwhile, the state’s hand in their operation distorts free market competition. It’s time the Greek economy moved away from the unproductive statist model toward a more competitive system. A state-dependent economy undermines competition, increases unemployment, encourages sleazy practices and drives up prices. Unfortunately, the SEV chief also happens to be the chairman and CEO of dairy group Delta Holdings, a company accused of price fixing. Dimitris Daskalopoulos’s criticism of what he dubbed a «state cartel» would carry more weight if he were not at the helm of a firm which is accused of forming a cartel in the dairy market along with other producers. SEV has an obligation to its members to safeguard free market competition. The federation must add its voice to the other organizations and bodies that are calling on the Competition Commission to speed up its release of the much-awaited report on the milk market. The report findings are expected to cast light onto the case and effectively put the words of the industrialists to the test. So long as we fail to investigate this and other similar cases, the problems of the Greek economy will remain while justified charges of a «state cartel» will invite nothing but skepticism.