No more handouts please

Greece has clearly entered the pre-election period. Regardless of when elections are held, the government and opposition must avoid making the same old mistakes. The socialists are hardly convincing when they come up with policy proposals without explaining where the funding will come from. Greek voters are well informed and are able to distinguish between political fireworks and feasible promises. Much of the responsibility however lies with the administration. Spin doctors have a strong penchant for unrestrained handouts, but Greek taxpayers have made great efforts to help restore fiscal stability. The prime minister’s recent intervention, resulting in the withdrawal of a legislative amendment that would have contributed to the destruction of forests, shows that the government is determined not to succumb to political expedience. But this determination must be injected into all levels of the government apparatus. The prime minister must send a clear message that long-term structural reforms must not be jeopardized by short-term benefits.

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