The “troika” will lead where the Government is not. In the last analysis where do the country’s troubles stem from?
In a Sunday paper there was an article about the tenants in an apartment building where there were two elderly people living alone and the other tenants decided to look after them. This was good not only for the two elderly people but, as it turned out, for the rest of the tenants as well, because it brought them together to a common concern. According to the article a sense of togetherness came to be as well as good will among the tenants.
A Radio and TV network has started a campaign it calls “All together”. Everybody is invited to volunteer whatever they can do for fellow citizens. This same network has brought to surface the good will of citizens for Mother Nature and has organised campaigns with many hundreds of people gathering to plant new trees in places where fires have burned the forests leaving barren land. The citizens are doing what should have been done by the Local and National Government.
These are but two examples of Greek benevolence that attest to the fact that if this country had sensible leadership some of the country’s needs could be met without cost to the state. Simply by motivating the people to respond to good causes of a neighbourhood, or a city, or a national scale, could provide something useful at no ( or very little) cost to the treasury, for the benefit of all and not only the beneficiaries of the volunteer work. Furthermore it would create an affinity to the neighbourhood, the city, the country, a change of attitude from one of indifference, apparent today, to one of interest and involvement, with the obvious gains for the quality of life of the citizens.
According to the press it is mandatory that the Greek Economy be freed from the bondage of “closed” professions as part of the necessary restructure of the Economy. The problem is that many of the ministers who should abolish the restrictions are not willing to do the work assigned to them. To lift the restrictions of Legal Practice, for example the Minister of Justice is trying to do it in the least possible way. The licence to open a Pharmacy is hereditary! It is passed from father to son. One is free to open a fresh produce store anywhere one wants. To open a Pharmacy No. The Minister of health has to change this but does not dare for the fear of a strike by the Pharmacists.
All the Professions and trades that must be liberalized are heavily represented in Parliament and so are those employed in Public Corporations and organizations of the Public sector. As a result the Members of Parliament are recalcitrant to everything that affects the prerogatives of these “favoured” groups and the Government is reluctant to touch them. The hundreds of thousands whose income has been curtailed “decisively” by the Government can only wonder and resent the fact that the Government lacks the resolve to confront the Guilds and Unions and Interest Groups. This vacuum created by the lack of leadership will hopefully be filled in by the “troika” which monitors the Government’s conformity to the stipulations of the Memorandum it has signed with the EU and the IMF, one of them being the liberalisation of the “closed” professions. The “troika” will lead where the Government is not. In the last analysis where do the country’s troubles stem from?