Restoring tarnished confidence

Greece needs to regain the confidence of markets and European Union trust in its public finances and investment climate. The stabilization program announced by the new socialist government of PASOK is unlikely to be enough in itself to restore the country’s tarnished reputation. The inadequate reaction by some PASOK ministers in the early days of the strike by dockworkers at Piraeus port, who are opposed to a concession deal awarded to China’s Cosco, has damaged confidence in markets. At the same time, the shoddy handling of the strike by authorities whetted the appetite of unions that saw their opportunity to annul yet another state contract with foreign investors. Persisting with unrealistic election commitments can prove fatal for an administration and damage the interests of the country. Such stubborn posturing can also affect the manner in which Greece is viewed on the international scene – particularly at a time when the country is under European Union scrutiny because of the poor state of its economy.