Pandemic: Developmental catalyst or missed opportunity

Ω Makis Andronopoulos
375

The Covid-19 pandemic with the influx of 70 billion euros over seven years is not only an unexpected development opportunity but also an opportunity to overturn all that is bad in Greece, which, however, can only be corrected with a radical reform program. However, it is clear that the existing political personnel and party formations can not meet this challenge, as was seen again during the discussion of the bankruptcy law.

The post-junta period was for Greece a period of missed opportunities, consolidation, and increase of distortions in the economy, education, and culture, resulting in the expansion of vested interests and corruption. The state remained hostile to many, inefficient, and very expensive, as it was a milk cow for the few, with the result that the country went bankrupt in 2009.

The transitional phase we are going through is dramatically critical, not only for the geopolitical challenges facing the country but mainly for the huge deficit of national truth and in fact at the moment when we are preparing to celebrate the 200 years of national independence. The 2021 Commission video clip was indicative of fatigue and lack of vision. It was not militant, it was melancholy, a bad copy of the great Olympics celebrations for 2004. And this at a time when the Greek Revolution of 1821 is recognized as the third revolution of the Enlightenment, after the American and the French.

Multidimensional crises

The multidimensional crises facing Hellenism, such as Turkish claims, demographics, immigration, education, health, self-confidence crisis, identity confusion, etc., make it difficult to conceive and devise a holistic plan to deal with them: The radical program of national development and education that can reverse the declining course of the country.

But we need a political vision, national solidarity, political will, and money! There will be money, except that Berlin and the hardliners of the North do not want it to be used for national development. The national radical program and the vision exist in the womb of society, but what is needed is the obstetric forceps needed to deliver such an embryo.

Unfortunately, the existing intellect, the academic intellect, is fed by foreign institutes that serve foreign interests and thus fail to play a guiding role. Greek academia simply "journalizes". However, the aggravation of the interconnected crises can lead the society to give birth alone (and the simple majority election law is waiting at the corner).

The 51-month flaw

It is not enough that using the Pissaridis report as a guide we will not go far, as it puts "reforms" before productive reconstruction, and it is not enough that all we know is the 16 investments to compensate for energy de-lignification, but it seems that there is a serious lag in plans for funding from the European Recovery Fund. There is also an unacknowledged panic because the administration knows that the implementation of projects in Greece is completely outside the plans set for the money of Covid-19.

In Greece, it takes 23 months to find a contractor for a project and 28 to deliver, as a government minister confessed to "Kyriakatiki Dimokratia", which means 51 months at best, when we have 72 months to complete the whole package. . There is also the Greek problem of the systematic exceeding of budgets, through which the contractors got rich, looting the Community Support Frameworks and the NSRF.

The contracting of the projects must be completed by the end of 2022 and to be completed by July 31, 2026. So are we in arrears in advance? There has been no political or scientific consultation on what projects and how we need them. Only generalized declarations! We are absent from the European consultations. But there is another equally important issue: the budget.

Does Greece have positions?

Informal negotiations are taking place in the corridors of Brussels and the European Parliament on the fate of the Fiscal Stability Pact imposed by Berlin on the eurozone. Both the Commission and the European Financial Council consider that the reactivation of the Stability and Growth Pact cannot be done on pre-Covid terms.

Former Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni believes that the debt limit of 60% of GDP should be reconsidered. As it is known, it has been suspended until the end of 2021. In Greece, the post-memorandum enhanced supervision is valid until the end of 2022, while the debt is supposed to be regulated by 2032. And the question arises: does Greece participate in these backstage consultations? Does it have positions? Does it have specific general and detailed proposals for the country?

It goes without saying that in 2022 we can not return to the status quo ante, nor can there be an extension of enhanced supervision. But the big issue is not just budget surpluses, it is the huge debt inflated by misguided and dubious policies imposed, at the behest of Berlin, by the IMF, that led to the dramatic PSI and debt doubling. Therefore, before Europe recovers from the multidimensional crisis that plagues it, Greece must open a series of major issues.

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