OPINION

Where is the money going?

The new electronic system for monitoring state expenditures, announced by the Finance Ministry recently, is a welcome development even though it is long overdue, and every taxpayer in the country is eager to see it up and running by mid-January, as scheduled. The downside to this new technology is that while it can measure outgoing funds and is also equipped with a warning system when budgets are overshot, it cannot monitor where the money is going. Who received what is a political decision and it is not enough to just admit that the state spends a lot. What we need are bold decisions to significantly curb state spending in the first place and, more importantly, to crack down on the needless or wasteful expenditures that have been common practice for so many years and have ultimately brought the Greek economy to its knees. Recording and supervising public spending and making sure that the country is staying on budget is certainly a step in the right direction, but what is needed most is a less spendthrift and more effective public administration system.