OPINION

Job losses demand fast action

The cold hard facts and the tragic personal dramas of the burgeoning numbers of increasingly frustrated jobless people in Greece demonstrate that unemployment is beginning to hit this country hard. However, no amount of wishful thinking – which is what is widely on offer from the political parties in this country – will be enough to put the brakes on this worrying trend. We must sit down and make a serious assessment of the factors that are behind this country’s unemployment, as fueled by both international as well as domestic factors. To be sure, the conservative administration under Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis needs to take immediate and dynamic measures to boost certain sectors and to assist the swelling ranks of the unemployed. The awful truth is that entrepreneurship in Greece so often gets stuck in red tape, corruption, deductions in favor of third parties and the absence of a flexible labor market framework. Unless we solve these problems now, unemployment will be here to stay.