OPINION

Need for efficient governance

Despite coming rather late, the recent initiative of the Interior Ministry to reduce the number of regions, prefectures and municipalities in the country is a significant step. The government has an obligation to its citizens to quickly push through these ambitious reforms, which will cut the number of regions from 13 to six, of prefectures from 52 to 16 and of municipalities from 1,034 to 400 – bringing the Greek system closer to the European model. And this initiative should be promoted despite the provincial attitudes that may try to obstruct it. After all, in an era of sophisticated electronic and transport networks, distances have been virtually eliminated. The location of each Greek region, prefecture and municipality is – in effect – far closer than it was some 50 years ago. It is quite clear that the State needs fewer and more effective administrative units in order to become more efficient. This is the only way to ensure that the citizen is being served rather than the cogs of the bureaucratic machine being oiled. In other words, instead of funding mechanisms we could be financing much-needed projects to improve our society.