Op-Ed Nikolaos Kaliakoudas, Economist
The lyrics of the song by Haris Alexiou: “To die for Greece is one thing, to die by Greece is another…” are always valid, especially in recent years that the greek society has been “torn apart” by the erratic policies that have been implemented. The prolonged crisis has created “padlocks” and an “army” of large and small borrowers to the state. Overdue debtors to tax authorities are calculated to about €2.5 million.
The tax “bleeding” of the common people, every day creates larger problems to the market, which has literally dried out. Small and medium businesses face the specter of collapse, since they cannot handle their elementary current needs. The Merkelism that was applied, created unemployment and a new economic and social marginalisation in Greece and southern Europe. Europe now appears captive of deflation and recession. This phenomenon threatens to become a permanent feature!
English Economist writes that the economic indicators of the Eurozone, which so far appeared to be satisfactory, are beginning to drop! This mainly has to do with the slowdown that is observed in recent times in the major economies of the Eurozone (Germany, France and Italy). We recently witnessed the government schism in France, which seriously threatened the Franco-German axis. Even the central banker, M. Draghi – obedient instrument of Merkel and Schäuble – recognizes that the strict fiscal discipline has reached its limits! And us here, who are supposed to have the biggest problem, what do we do? Not a word, towards that direction, is voiced from the lips of government officials.
Well, let’s get real. The solution to the country’s fiscals problems will not be found in excessive taxation of real estate, the middle class, the employee and pensioner. There must be policies of motivation and development, relying solely on the production process. We need to support small and medium entrepreneurship in sectors that Greece has growth advantages, such as agriculture, tourism, transport, energy, and innovation.
But all these require liquidity in the market. Liquidity is the oxygen of demand, and is a key determinant of economic growth. Here is the critical role of the banking system. Banks need to reduce their interest rate margins, and to assist in the reconstruction of a new developmental model for the country. They need to stop playing the role of purely profit organizations and become the tools for economic growth.
Of course, in order for all these to be implement, there is the need for a different policy mix that only a democratic and progressive movement can express. Is society ready and mature enough to do what is necessary? It is the Greek society that must choose the political groups and individuals who believe in the principles and values of a direct and genuine democracy. It is up to the Greeks to choose political figures and faces, who are willing to promote, with a fairer distribution of burdens, the productive and economic reconstruction of the country.