OPINION

The silver lining to the crisis

We musn’t look at Greece’s financial crisis as a black cloud, because it also presents the country with a new opportunity. Prime Minister George Papandreou is in a position where he can make important decisions that go beyond fiscal measures and influence more than the economy: Greece needs to be pushed forward, to embrace change, but what it needs to do first is erase the backward mentalities and remove the obstacles that have kept the private sector and entrepreneurship from flourishing. Papandreou needs to make what significant changes he can now, while he still enjoys the support of the majority of the country’s population and a large section of the opposition. Opening up closed-shop professions, trimming the red tape that keeps so many good and profitable initiatives from moving ahead, and making work regulations more flexible so that they reflect contemporary reality are some of the measures that he must implement very soon. If he waits, he will be making a big mistake, much like his predecessor Costas Karamanlis did.