Economy requires caution

It is imperative, in every country, that the officials responsible for economic policy be exceptionally cautious in their statements, whether they are speaking on the record or off it. An injudicious phrase can affect stock markets, markets’ psychology and decisions by business leaders. That is why Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis’s statement on Tuesday that he could not be sure how the 2008 budget would be implemented is both inexplicable and unprecedented, as veteran economic journalists noted. Everyone can see the signs of economic crisis and the impending fiscal impasse. Ill-judged comments, however, do not solve problems; on the contrary, they create an image of an economic policy that does not have a fixed target. This, in turn, shakes the confidence of market players even further. That is why those in positions of responsibility should be more careful in their statements, especially at such difficult times.