OPINION

Stuck in a rut

As Brussels continues to bay for blood, there appears to be no respite in store. Worst of all, the Greek economy is sliding further into recession, public revenue is decreasing and even more measures are imminent. In other words, we are heading toward a never-ending downward spiral. If it is to break this vicious circle, the government will have to come up with imaginative new approaches and effective practices to make use of untapped potential in all sectors: to increase revenue, reduce expenditure and to achieve growth. The Papandreou government, however, remains stuck in a rut. That is why it appears incapable of getting to grips with the fiscal crisis and building a new, healthier growth model. Using as a pretext the need for immediate results, it is taking measures that will surely reduce earnings, particularly among the small- and middle-income segments of society. The unequal distribution of sacrifices, however, cancels out the moral foundation of the government’s appeal for a collective effort to exit the crisis. Indeed, it only exacerbates people’s dissatisfaction and increases the possibility of social unrest. Moreover, reducing people’s purchasing power, mostly among the lower income brackets, merely aggravates the recession and thus fuels the fiscal crisis. Shouldn’t the government instead be taking steps to effectively utilize state property – particularly the abandoned Olympic Games venues – combat tax evasion and provide incentives for new, productive investments aimed at exploiting the country’s comparative advantages? Or finding ways to improve the structure and operation of ministries? We need to know that the government is not just collecting money, but is making a serious attempt to put its house in order and develop the real economy. Unfortunately, that does not seem to be happening. There is a lot of talk, but very little action.