Wednesday, September 17, 2014

SYRIZA's Balanced Budget Policy

Already in their First Economic Manifesto of June 2012, SYRIZA had stated that they would reign in government expenditures at a maximums of 45% of GDP and to increase revenues to about 45% of GDP. I considered that a mishap at the time; a mishap in the sense that in the enthusiasm to produce a First Economic Manifesto, the preparers of it had overlooked that they were in fact proposing a balanced budget.

Now, over 2 years later, SYRIZA has again published an Economic Manifesto; I called it Manifesto 2.0 in a previous article. All proposals smack of deficit spending and the Finance Ministry is already taking it apart. And what does SYRIZA say? Yiannis Dragasakis, chief economic spokesman of the party, insists that "we are not going to return to deficits".

Is SYRIZA perhaps a fiscally conservative party (possibly the most fiscally conservative party of Greece), after all? One would expect that if party leaders proclaim a balanced budget policy and if party members do not immediately engage in uproar, the stated policy enjoys broad support within the party. Given that SYRIZA vehemently supports a balanced budget policy in public statements, I would hope that they are challenged on that by the media. Anyone who proclaims a balanced budget policy should have to explain why he does that and, more importantly, how he proposes to accomplish that.

Incidentally, I first came across Mr. Dragasakis back in June of 2012 when I read an interview of his, which prompted me to write this article about him.

1 comment:

  1. Well, the 'numbers-debate' is on. While SYRIZA is talking the cost of its program down (from 13,5 BEUR to 11,5 BEUR), the government is talking it up to 27 BEUR. Good luck trying to understand all that!