OPINION

Who is paying for all this?

One of the factors that has contributed to Greece’s enormous debt is the general feeling of indifference and the lackadaisical approach that imbues anything to do with the public sector. One characteristic example of this attitude is the hugely expensive voluntary retirement program offered to port workers. One government official publicly stated that the state will not foot the bill for the program, but the Piraeus Port Authority would. What he forgot to mention was who bails out the Piraeus Port Authority when it suffers financial losses. Obviously, the state. The same attitude is seen in the ease with which state bodies take advantage of government guarantees to plug a variety of discrepancies. Meanwhile, no one can say with certainty how many guarantees of this kind are out there; guarantees that officially ought to be calculated into figures concerning public debt. But the days of hiding or fudging numbers are now over and anyone in charge of a government body or public company should understand that they can no longer spend what they like and when they like from the public coffers using all sorts of imaginative excuses.