OPINION

Helping investment take root

One way to attract healthy investment to Greece is to remove as many as possible of the numerous bureaucratic and judicial obstacles that stand in its way, to have clear guidelines that define what is allowed and where, and to put a stop to the perverse system of investment subsidies that prevails today. The problem in Greece is not whether it takes one or 60 days to set up a company but the number of years it takes for an investment to take root and begin to grow so that it yields fruit. The government’s strategy right now is to go in search of foreign investors. There are many dangers to this. One is that the process is more vulnerable to less-than-transparent practices and the other is that two different speeds to investment will be established: those who are accommodated by specially streamlined processes and those who wait patiently for years and have to overcome a slew of obstacles. The only way to make sure investments work is to liberalize all markets and to establish a permanent framework that will protect them from changes in taxation and the foibles of the state.