Nov 28

The “Trump” anticipated

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It is sometimes the intuition working or perhaps our worst fears that imply to keep record about such an insightful view. As the one presented in this commentary by Martin Wolf, in a year 2007 FT issue. Which I am still wondering why I had downloaded and kept in my archives! I would  say enjoy it, if it would have not depicted such an awful evolution! Why America need some elements of Welfare State

Nov 21

Counting the odds of the sustainable growth scenario for Greece

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In my previous post (, through my discussions with experts and policy makers engaged with the Adjustment Programme for Greece, I had tried to name according to my understanding the conditions and those concrete steps, which will lead the Greek economy and society to the next phase, the one of sustainable growth, after reaching the necessary public fiscal consolidation level. Though the latter still looks pretty much fragile, because of the means which is being achieved through, we have considered the following in order to boost growth. Continue reading »

Nov 13

Halfway through the 3rd Adjustment Programme for Greece: with no more opportunities in the future

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[Download piece of text note_greece-in-europe_a-relation-under-pressure_nov2016]

More than 15 months ago, at the end of June 2015, I was sharing with colleagues some thoughts about those moments’ conjuncture, with the new Greek namely radical-left government and its poor relations to the other Eurozone member countries and the EU institutions. In a text entitled “Europe with Greece or Greece in Europe: a hard-worked perspective with no more than long-term and marginal but sustainable returns” ( I was then referring to the prevailing conditions as follows.

“… How come that any rational European policy maker, and those of the IMF, could have expected that the Greeks, famous for their much emotional collective behavior, could stand for such a long period of austerity and misery, in order to save money and invest to the benefit of their children and future generations? …” While the vast majority of the political class in the country, with few exceptions, “…had, already from the start of the public Finance Adjustment Programme, adopted the argumentation that nothing such as this ‘nightmare of crisis’ would have happened, unless some ‘bad’, tax-avoiding rich Greeks and foreigners, together with the German and other ‘arms dealing multinationals’, supported by the corrupted previous governments, had not brought Greece to the verge of the bankruptcy.” Whereas, “ … the austerity was not the solution to the problem (in-famous ‘wrong recipe’) … contrary to that, it was the Programme that caused the crisis!..”

Still, even at these “high noon” moments, trying to close with some constructive thinking, I had ended like the following.

“… Europeans need to (a) set the basics for the potential follow-up Adjustment Programme, and (b) include … a strong support and peer review scheme, with technical teams in Greece. In order to consistently and patiently work with the Greek public administration on the ownership of the measures and reforms …” With two conditions “…First, …high level European politicians need to state explicitly …, making PM Tsipras and the rest of government understand that any political handling will have to be settled on the basis of a feasible technical (financial programme) agreement… (remember the “Varoufakis phenomenon!”). And “ … second, that whichever support programme, …, will have to implement the pending markets’ and the public sector’ s reforms, … which should not any more be considered an austerity policy framework, but a policy reforming one…”

That was back then, whereas it is more than evident, from what has been taking place since last summer, that the two afore-mentioned “conditions” had never been considered as fundamentals for the brokered deal. Well, how could they be?

That is why, (1) the already “closed” first evaluation of the current Programme has marginally succeeded in kicking off any of the critical reforms – as spelt out in the MoU -, apart from those with the privatizations, in fact only the ones scheduled already since 2014(!); (2) not any serious reform has been deployed not even “politically validated” before that, in any social policy sector, in public administration, the judiciary, health, education and training; (3) similar conditions prevail with the labor market and the opening of product and service markets, including the closed-shop professions (this is being in progress in the last 4 years!); (4) “foot dragging” is also the moto with all other privatizations; thus, (5) in order to make the ends meet, and reach the targeted public finance figures (with the primary surplus etc.) and the social security and pensions’ figures, the Greek economy is experiencing an unprecedented increase of taxation, ensuring a serious increase of collected taxes – while more families find impossible to have a decent life.

Continue reading »

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