OPINION

Consistency, continuity, stability

Developments in Europe, including the failure of the Socialists, the rise of a populist far right and its influence on the major political parties have prompted a contentious debate in Greece as well. A widespread impression persists that the ruling Socialists, as well as the opposition, are shifting away from their principles and are about to repeat old mistakes by falling back on a political way of operating that has already proved detrimental to further development. The main characteristic of this pendulum-like political opportunism is effort that lacks consistency or stability and which only yields short-term results. Public corporations are a classic example of this vacillation. Subordinated to the ruling party’s political objectives, most of these enterprises have failed to implement restructuring policies and remain trapped in the vise of party-political interests. Public corporations tend to oscillate between reform programs and state intervention. However, as demonstrated by the case of the Public Power Corporation, politicians know what the right model is. After many years of stagnation and indebtedness, PPC is now back on track after the government decided to staff its administration with professionals. Profits have soared over the last couple of years, its internal functioning has been restored, money has been saved, and the firm is ready for expansion. Should the government let it function as a private company, PPC will soon be able to increase production, expand abroad, cooperate with big European firms, bring wealth into the country, and create jobs. But should PPC succumb to narrow electoral objectives, its achievements and prospects will soon evaporate. There is only one way to tackle the crisis: Politics needs continuity, consistency and stability. Anything else is for political hacks and servants of intertwined interests.