Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Plan For Growth?

I fail to understand why Greece would have made the proposal which they sent to the EU on Monday this week. I read the letter which Alexis Tsipras signed and which was made public by Ekathimerini. I wanted to count how often the words "taxes", "rates", "contributions" occurred but I gave up. And whenever they occurred, it was in the context of increasing (instead of decreasing) them.

Higher taxes? Higher rates? Higher contributions? A recipe for growth? Well, I guess most people would agree that they are a good recipe for slowing down economic activity.

According to the reviews I read, this was the only way for the government to satisfy creditors without crossing its own red lines. At the same time, I read that these measures would take more money out of the economy than any of the previous memoranda.

Before the technocrats went to work, EU politicians expressed their enthusiasm about Greece's proposal. So much for the competence of EU politicians as regards understanding how growth works.

One almost has to be thankful to the IMF because they spotted right away that relying almost exclusively on revenue increasing measures to close a fiscal gap is about the worst thing which Greece could do at this stage of the game. Regrettably, there were no significant expense cutting measures.

One despairs. For once, Greece submitted a proposal which EU politicians liked but, on closer examination, it turns out the this proposal is worse than anything the Troika could have dreamed up.

Quo vadis, Greece; quo vadis?


  1. Let's not be hypocritical here. There is no "growth" plan in discussion. It's all about fiscal adjustment. There is no "structural reform" fig leaf either. It's all about how much more income Tsipras must cut. On greekTV, everyone is commenting about how the last sectors of the economy standing, tourism and pharmaceuticals, are boiling over the IMF's proposals.

    Truth is, the expenses aside wages and pensions have been "cut to the bone" as Blanchard put it. This leaves wages and pensions. Pensions was the supposed "red line" that Tsipras had, which he already violated indirectly. Now, he may sign, but this deal won't lead anywhere. SYRIZA won't be able to follow it.

    Grexit is a matter of time. We may have snap elections during summer.

  2. It is very clear that given the budgetary constraints imposed on Greece, there can be no plan for growth. The choice is therefore between maintaining state employment levels and pension payments ( and adjusting taxes to balance the budget) or reducing employment and pensions.

    Quite why you think reducing employment and pensions (serving as social support in a country with no welfare system to speak of) is acceptable either politically or economically after 5 years of economic collapse is beyond me.

    Equally, why you think that raising some taxes (both direct and indirect) is automatically worse than reducing incomes, in a severe depression, is also beyond me.

    Presumably, you have some economic logic that informs your position. I have to confess that I am unfamiliar with it. Please enlighten.

    1. To Guest (Xenos),

      Far from being a SYRIZA supporter, today i read a comment by SYRIZA MEP, who is probably the most moderate and pro-EU of all in the party, being in the position for many years now. He said "The IMF cancelled the taxation on electronic gambling, but asks for 23% VAT on milk, for the sake of "growth". Sarcasm intended.
      Even more interesting, 3-4 days ago, the IMF itself, came with a report, where increasing the income of the poorer, stimulates growth. One can't see here how making punitive VAT on food and abolishing the solidarity grant to pensioners of 300 euros, is line with IMF's own findings.
      One can't see either, how raising again by 10% the VAT on restoration (combined with increased VAT on hotels, food, beverages), is going to help tourism. Lat time this was done, was under Samaras and reducing the VAT produced increased VAT returns for the state and boost in tourism.
      Neither can one see the "growth" strategy behind IMF, in increasing burdons and production costs to farmers.
      At the end of the day, if you shoot every single sector of the greek economy that still survives, in an economy that has already turned to recession, how is growth supposed to return?

      At the same time, the IMF is quarelling with SYRIZA on whether the corporate tax will be 29% or 28%, but they both agree on raising it! When neighbouring countries have 10% and are attracting greek businesses.
      I am no economist, but there is something rotten in this story. It seems more like a competition on which one will bring more recession: SYRIZA or the IMF?
      There is also one certain thing. The more you push SYRIZA towards a plan he loaths more, the more he will fail. The creditors, may actually point to that. But, i think they are mistaken, in their belief that if SYRIZA fails, the "pro-european" parties will take over and continue with memoranda up to 2021 (then do a little debt restructuring concerning 2021 and a few other years). There is also another probability that increases by the day. That the population will simply get tired and ask for Grexit, through even more radical parties that already exist or new ones.

      Maybe i am not expert enough to see the hidden brilliance behind the IMF's "growth plan", but the whole deal smells more like political manouvers, with final objective, how much and when will Greece arrive to debt restructuring. Alas, i am afraid that while Tsipras will fail, the creditors will also shoot themselves on the foot. They may say that the reason is once more that Greece didn't do "structural reforms" (will the milk be 23% or 13%, this is the dilemma, ladies and gentlemen), but this won't change that at the end, Greece will say "can't pay, won't pay". The ancient art of blood-letting, was popular in medicine, due to the fact that the stronger patients, in some cases did survive. And it has a scientific basis behind it. But in modern medicine, it has been adapted to forms that allow the weaker patients to live too, in the form of dialisis and plasmapheresis, where the blood isn't lost but purified or substituted and only when no other treatment has worked. Einstein said that insanity, is repeating the same method, while waiting for different results. The troika believes that Tsipras will bring different results than George Papandreou.
      At the end, Greeks pay and will pay for their mistaken choices. So will the creditors.

    2. @Anonymous June 25. I think I agree with all of this. The deal is political, there is no interest in Greek economic recovery, and it is all about extracting moneys and delaying Greek default. There is also the political intent to deter other southern countries from electing radical governments, and preferably removing Syriza from power.

    3. To Guest (Xenos)

      It would seem so... I haven't read anyone explain how this is a growth plan. I have read articles supporting some measures rather than others, but they are always supported more from an ideological point of view of the author, rather than a factual explanation.
      As for removing SYRIZA from power, well, it would certainly be desirable, but SYRIZA doesn't want to leave from power either... Half an hour ago, a greek website of dubious reputation has put up an article, claiming that Le Monde in its internet edition, has her Athens correspondent saying that the creditors would like a coalition goverment in Greece with former FinMin Yannis Stournaras as PM. I don't speak french, so i have no way to verify it. I just mention it as a rumour, because it is certainly plausible. River's leader met with 4 foreign Prime Minister and Pierre Moscovici, while Samaras with Merkel and this very morning , Samaras proposed a transitional goverment without Tsipras and without himself (but with his support). Now, if we assume that Stournaras would be PM, then it all fits.

    4. If I were advising Syriza, I would urge consideration of legal action against individuals or institutions that are trying to remove an elected government. The EU treaties are a strong legal basis for taking this to the CJEU -- since democracy is a basic principle from the original treaty of Rome onwards. These criminals in northern Europe are seeking to subvert democracy, as they did on previous occasions with Greek elections. And this is not a matter of whether or not one likes Syriza: this is a non-negotiable principle.

      It is about time that the criminals who are currently running Europe were either put in their place or given prison sentences. We did not fight world war II for the principles of democratic accountability and human decency to be subverted, again by the Germans (and apparently also by that useless woman Lagarde).

    5. To Guest (Xenos),

      I don't doubt your suggestion, but i doubt about the effective result of such legal action, other to make some media noise. The CJEU, when politics are invovled, takes political decisions. It has been said so many times by a greek judge there. Can you imagine a european court condemning the rulers of Europe?

      SYRIZA (and Greece), is paying unfortunately the conseguences of their naivety. They could have waited a year. A good politician must have the ability to read well a situation and see into the future. In SYRIZA they just believed in their own electoral promices as the reality. Tsipras did get concessions in primary surplus targets, but this won't help it in the realization of an alien program and nobody in Europe would be sorry if Tsipras actually miserably failed. There are several ways to hurt Tsipras:
      - Give him a program as tough as possible and let him suffer goverment attrition, from having to execute a plan that his ministers loath. PASOK 2010.
      - If he denies to sign it, let him default, put capital controls and force him to elections with banks closed and a unified opposition.
      - Either way, Tsipras will now act as scare story for the various Podemos. I had written back in December in this blog, that if Tsipras had waited 1 year, he might have had an ally in Podemos. Instead he would act as example for scare Spaniards. In SYRIZA nobody could see this obvious fact...Many pro-SYRIZA journalists are accusing now prof. Varoufakis for giving bad advice to Tsipras and influencing him. Even if so, a good leader should be able to think on his own.

  3. One the one hand I agree with your logics.

    One the other hand, we see politic mandate versus economic theories.
    AFAIR Syriza was elected for their main promise to end "austerity", not to accelerate growth. That means increasing spendings, not reduce spendings. This electoral mandate was given to Syriza and has to be respected.

    If there are no more external sources to increase income (as they seem not to be) and hence spendings, Syriza has to pick internal sources: taxes and other contributions. They are consequently following this path.

    Syriza often claimed that the Troika want not respect the result of Greek democratic election, their voting for an end of austerity. Thats a valid point. And polls show Syriza still has this backing for its politics.

    So is it really up to their European counterpart to deny their proposals because they think it as economically stupid? I that the legitimate mandate of Euro-Group ore IWF?

    There is a German sying: "Des Menschen Wille ist sein Himmelreich" aka "A man's mind is his Kingdom".

    Force Greeks to another path that is (perhaps) better for them sounds like paternalism or even a kind of colonization. Greece hase to try and learn by their own, what they prefer. Even if that may be a very hard way.

    1. To Roger,

      The IMF is repeating history with Tsipras. This is George Papandreou all over again. Tsipras will fail miserably to execute the plan, but this time the population is much more tired than in 2010. Better default now than default after 1 or 2 more years of recession. And i say this, while i supported the execution of previous programs. A vicious circle can't be ended with wishes nor with Mrs Lagarde's smiles or occasionally fake tears about the poorer. A vicious circle ends with default in this case. Better sooner than later, because one has to ask himself, where will Tsipras' angry electorate will go after Tsipras' failure. And while the creditors hope that it will go to the Potami party, i am afraid that by then Grexit will be much more popular and the closest party that offers this door, is the greek comunist party (KKE). And while the creditors will repent the day that they will have to deal with KKE, so will the Greeks. So we may as well default now.

  4. I agree that there has to be a plan for growth.
    Greece has hardly any industry or business that creates jobs, income for people, other than tourism.
    Reason that so many young people are jobless at home, living on the pension of their parents, because after a year not any income is left via a social fund of the government.
    Reason that all elderly people want to keep their pensions as they are.
    Also the young people. Because they are depending on their parents income. A sick situation.

    Nobody talks about making business and having employees with an income. The most that were there must stop because of the crisis.

    Nobody wants, not even in a plan, to invest in the only door to a future. Instead all stay in one and the same too small dark room of the present without anybody who wants to open the windows for air and doors to start with indeed: growth.
    Not any plan. At least: I have not found it somewhere. They only talk about what is mentioned in the post.

    Varoufakis is excellent in writing but he has not any idea how to build up a country, and where to start.
    All politicians, those from the opposition parties included, are all stuck to their seat in the parliament, with a guarantee for a huge income, political power, attention, daily entertainment of keeping themselves, EU and the world busy with fake worthless solutions, fake proposals, fake interest in the country's and its peoples' future. The people love them, they are drugged with words of beauty of a Syriza Greece, the promised land.
    True leaders inspire, encourage the people with the right information about the situation and how to solve the problems to get out of it.
    This Greek leader and his whisperers only nourish the hatred in the people, blaming EU for "asphyxiating" them. I do not hear any proposal for what will have to be done after they have received the money, or after the bankruptcy, the Grexit. Money will disappear in the same old pockets as before. The people will not see any change. They will only hear that EU did it. Blame game for ever.

    This blogpost talks about opening windows, doors, and nobody seems to understand what is meant. This is the Syriza effect. So many words that they blow up minds and the ability to think.

    I have a sincere request. If somebody starts with the so much mentioned oil business and drilling, please, consider another energy source like wind energy and solar energy. The CO2 levels are still increasing dangerously. CO2 is a product created by the use of oil products. CO2 is creating an extreme climate change on the moment and what was expected for 2050 is already happening now, or reached now. Here is an alarming video from NASA:

    Interesting climate news (posted 23 june):
    "Who will represent Greece at the ‘Eurovision of clean-tech’? Meet the 10 contestants."

  5. Mr. Kastner,

    All good points. And all comments thus far stated up to Rogers comments.

    Even in my dispair i am hopeful for a better future even though that may be 10-20 years from now. Everybody is talking about mandates, peoples choices and what the troika has to propose and or what Syriza has to propose. The conclusion is that anything proposed will hurt the already destroyed greek economy. Everybody of all sides are taking there positions and is not reviewing what needs to be done. Initially 5 beuro in measures, then 8 and now 12 beuro in measures.

    I ask from where? Any type of taxing will hurt the economy, direct, indirect or spot emergeny taxes. They all lead to lower sales and growth and will contribute to higher unemployment, hurting the social system even further and the tax revenues. meanwhile lose any competitiveness we have.

    Cut pensions which are already cut. Ok maybe reduce some of the higher pensions but how much will be gathered from that. How about public sector ok dismiss 200,000 which will not happen but if it does, it equates to unemployement hence futher again hurting the social system and again tax revenues.

    Hit the tourism sector which is your bread and butter, tourist will go somewhere cheaper. Hit the pharma which is the main private exporting bsuiness will further hurt competitiveness.

    What to do? As you said a debt restructurign should have been negotiated but neither the imf or the eu wants to even discuss.

    The greek problem is a mega lehman that is being avoided. Kicked down the road.

    I believe the deal will be signed and will pass the greek parliment but without a large part of syriza hence not a snap election but a national government. (I think now Tsipras is too tired to even make the speech i thought he would) But even with this i doubt our problems will go away. A new debt or bailout will need to be formulated and how i do not know why the people of eu are going to accept this now learning just how in dier straits greece is in. More austerity for greece for the next 5 years and then we will see.

    I love the latest imf proposal not to increase coprate tax as it is detrimental to the economy but propose to hike tax on MILK from 13% to 23%. I am a family of four and we are milk lovers with today's prices we purchase about 1,200 euro worth of milk per year. add another 120 euro anuall to that.

    continued V

    1. To add to that, the IMF rejected the 1-off 12% tax on corporate profits over 500.000 euros. Because enterprises with so high profits... aren't greek... This reminds me of the start of the Irish program, where the troika first thing asked Ireland to increase corporate tax. Ireland denied (and did well). It was just an opportunity for the troika to hit Ireland's competitive advantage that would benefit other EU economies (at Ireland's expense).

      Same here. I can already see for example how much sorrow having costlier greek tourism and agricultural production will cause to some creditor countries.

  6. continued.... V

    All proposals being made are outrageous.

    Even privatizing the whole governement now can not save us.

    Meanwhile as i teeder with the benefits of grexit i also hear that Lapavitsas like the max keiser of the past is a lobbyist for the rich greeks that have taken their money out of greece as to buy everything for pocket change later. Hence i even have many doubts on this a as realistic solution, aside from the obvious detriments of grexit alone.

    Where do i now conclude, which i have become a wishy washy observer, is the greek problem is massive. the proposals being made will make the problems even worse. And whether or not we stay in the euro or go grexit our problems will only begin to exponetially expand. Anything they decide whether it is to stay or go will affect the eu. Even if this is to make us into slaves and work for free the economical problems are huge.
    We are, as i see a huge time bomb waiting to go off. Who will be to blame. All of us. When we go off, whether greeks want it or not will send shock waves everywhere.

    What a shame. What a stain on the european dream. I take my part blame as greek and all greeks should but all the non greeks that contributed to this, should also look in the mirror. What a disaster.

    I dropped off my daughter at day care and some KKE party memebers where handing out flyers that we should gather and scream against the new austerity package. I threw the flyer in their face an told them when they become a resposible party of their words and look to help the parliment rather than point fingers, then i can consider to support them.

    Today is my birthday. I will wish for, as if i was a beauty pagent winner. Peace on earth and good will to all.


    1. Happy birthday!
      I hope you have a nice evening today or at the weekend, to celebrate with family friends, and you can avoid politics that evening!
      If the day theme is that dark it is important to get breaks where you can enjoy life and get new power and lust for life.

      At least you should have the warmer weather than we in Germany (actually around 15 degrees at daytime) :)

      Best wishes,

  7. Mr. Kastner,

    After thiking about it, you may be right. SYRIZA voters may get as consolation prize, their own Allende. The entire greek "pro-EU" opposition was at Brussels.
    - The Potami's leader (a 6% party), met with Moscovici and 4 european PMs.

    - Samaras, meeting Merkel today, made this statement: "If Tsipras loses the confidence of the parliament, we must have a transitional goverment without Tsirpas and without himself".

    So, there are 2 alternative scenarios that are looming here:
    1) Tsipras signs but loses the vote in parliament. This triggers transitional goverment without Tsipras.
    2) Tsipras doesn't sign and instead calls for elections. At this point, one can suspect, that there will be a coalition of ND+Potami+PASOK that will go up against SYRIZA.

    While this on paper could happen, there is one flaw i think. Who has the political capital to carry out the troika's proposal and suffer the political consequences. Samaras? How far can Samaras still go before disintegrating his party? With what popular backup, when in polls he is amongst the most unpopular leaders?

  8. Forgot an important detail of growth: administration
    The difference between a Greek administration and the administration in EU is huge.
    A Greek administration is not efficient, it is "about", with too much or even only cash (to impress), not using electronic bills. Waste of time, paper, money. Time IS money.

    The Euro is only then successful and helpful when there is an adequate administration.
    Lawyers and administrators in Greece belong to a highly corrupted group of people, who are very much intertwined with each other's interests, and both are the spine of all what is named business. Also here is a cleanup highly needed. Openness. Opened books. But they are kept closed, even completely after Syriza was starting ruling.

    These are facts, mentioned by a born-Greek, living abroad, and building up a small company, and working with fiber (for internet connections). There are programs to create a transparent administration but they, Greeks, do not know how to use it, and so they do not use it and create an "about" what has lead to financial catastrophes where nobody can find the reason for.

    If Greece wants to be in the healthy Euro-coin-countries-organisation named Eurozone and create growth in Greece they will first have to make fundamental changes in the administration of companies. Starting with courses, studies, how to learn programs and work with it.
    The Greek administration is one of the biggest holes in the leaking bucket named Greek Economy.

    In the meantime the Government talks about pensions, and how to please the people. The people do not know anything more than that they will get lesser in the future. They do not know they undermine their own country with not willing to change fundamentally all what has to be changed to create a future for all. Nobody ex-plains, one only com-plains.

    Growth needs first mental growth via education and information, and much EU help in this case to achieve and control. Control as a guide to point on mistakes and to correct them. Without any control it will NOT work EVER. There was one excellent EU organisation:
    The Task Force For Greece.
    It has been sent home. Out. How stupid.



    1. Thanks for this. It shows massive and increasing support for Tsipras and Syriza. How reliable the polling is one cannot say, but in the absence of a rival poll contradicting it, the results should be respected.

    2. To Guest (Xenos),
      After 2010, it's hard times for poll companies. They always do their best to make the paying customer happy. In this case, the customer is Avgi, which is the official SYRIZA newspaper...

      For example, this is another poll from June 16, made for Mega Channel (no friend of SYRIZA):
      - SYRIZA 35,1%
      - ND 23%
      - River 6%
      - Golden Dawn 5,5%

      Tsipras popularity 60%

      Or another interesting poll by Gallup. End of 2014.
      "If you were given the choice between national current and euro, which one would you prefer?"
      - National currency 52%
      - Euro 32%.

      Polls, rather than measuring tendencies, have ended being means of manipulation of public opinion...

  10. As EU leaders convene for a two-day summit in Brussels (where it will be all Greece, all day, despite what anyone says), German Chancellor Angela Merkel now looks to be leaning towards drawing a line in the sand consistent with her finance minister, her lawmakers, and her central bank chief.


    The Fat Lady Sings...

  11. This should be interesting for SYRIZA's future. I am not certain whether it is an indirect warning shot to Tsipras or just a casual reference by prof. Lapavitsas, but one must keep in mind, that prof. Lapavitsas is in SYRIZA, because it was the will of the Left Platform. Prof. Lapavitsas in a Guardian article, ends with:

    "In the coming days a significant intervention by its influential left wing, the Left Platform, can be expected. Greece needs a rapid public debate and a reshaping of policy. The country has the strength to survive and it will."

    Minister Lafazanis himself, leader of Left Platform, said :
    1) "Austerity must end, as it is the most destructive force that will never let Greece see the light."
    2) "Greece needs a big liquidity injection, so that it can do public investments and a deep debt write-off".
    3) "Greece in this Europe, has entered a transition phase. This transition will either be progressive or Greece may become the epicenter of a big political and antidemocratic anomaly, that may spread spread in the wider region and Europe".

    Such statements, while it is known that Tsipras can't deliver, raise an eyebrow about his intentions...

    The website that is considered expression of the Left Platform is full of warlike articles.

    Hosting articles from minister Lafazanis, Mikis Theodorakis telling Tsipras not to kneel and also prof. Kouvelakis, who, in his article with title "For a no with prospect" he underlines:
    1) SYRIZA's organs must be called to state their position before any vote.
    2) The MPs elected to end austerity must honour their mandate.
    3) Everyone must publically present specific proposals for the management of a "no", which "already exist and circulate in closed circles".
    4) "The fighting Left and the greek people have not said their last word".

    This is a sample of what awaits Tsipras once he returns to Greece from within his party.

    My observation: Typical of SYRIZA, but after 5 months of negotiations, shouldn't they have already as a party agreed on a plan for the management of a "no"? It appears some made their own, within factions inside the party and now they ask for comparison amongst others. Fortunately for Tsipras, usually those who are still looking for a plan, can't stop someone who already has a plan at hand, even if this is a troika plan.
    But if the Left Platform decides to revolt against Tsipras, it's the end of SYRIZA. But i have my doubts that they will do it while Tsipras has still high popularity.

  12. Quo vadis Greece, quo vadis? Who knows? But judging by recent imports the Greeks are adamant that it will be by Range Rover and Porsche Cayenne.

    1. The import data are very troubling. One theoretical explanation is interesting -- the idea of "reverse saving". Whereas Germans save, instead of consuming, because they are fearful of the future, Greeks tend not to do so.

      Historically, there was good reason not to do so. Banks were unsafe, fraud common, bank charges were high, inflation was above nominal interest rates (so a negative real interest rate)... Therefore Greeks always invested in property, with very positive results.

      The effect of the horrendous property tax introduced by the idiot Samaras was to destroy the property market, and devalue all property. That area of investment is no longer valid, at least for the moment. Equally, Greeks fear possible Grexit, and reduced future consumption possibilities.

      So, the reverse saving theory is that Greeks are buying expensive cars in anticipation of future structural changes, such as the currency or collapse of banks. They are also saving in cash, but the purchase of expensive cars is seen as investment as opposed to consumption.

      This may well be the sort of unexpected behaviour that we will see in collapsing economies with appalling mismanagement of the eurozone and debt problems originating from both the eurozone and the financial crisis. It looks irrational but at the individual level it may be the least bad option for how to cope with continued uncertainty.

  13. Quo vadis? According to
    it might not only go the Grexit route but also to full opposition of any reasonable discussion...


  14. Twice I published a program for a Greek party that I could vote for, once in April 2012 and the second time in January of this year. Before this last election, I corresponded with Yanis Varoufakis about this ficticious party program. His reaction was that he could wholeheartedly support it. Please check for yourselves to what extent the SYRIZA/ANEL government supported this kind of a platform so far.

    First, to get new jobs quickly we will “steal” them. We will steal them from other countries which presently sell to us products which we could produce ourselves in Greece. We will create an “obsession with import substitution” in the minds of the Greek people so that Greek consumers become literally ashamed when they buy products from abroad when such products are also produced in Greece.

    Second, we will create an “obsession with exports” in the minds of the Greek people so that Greek producers become literally ashamed when they do not sell a good portion of their production to other countries, particularly agricultural products. And we will be “smart exporters”, that is we will make the products shelf-ready and market them directly to individual countries (instead of selling bulk to Italy).

    Third, we will create an “obsession with tourism” in the minds of the Greek people. Our mindset will no longer be that tourists should be thankful for being able to visit Greece but, instead, we will let them know that we really want their visits (and their money).

    Fourth, money will be required to accomplish the above, particularly for the investment in new productive facilities for import substitution and new exports. We will create an “obsession with foreign investment” in the minds of the Greek people. Whenever a foreigner invests money in Greece, we will consider this as a compliment to the attractiveness of our country as a place to do business.

    Fifth, we will privatize state companies as much as we can but we will sell them only to investors with a sustainable business philosophy. Investors with a short-term financial focus we will consider as asset strippers and treat them accordingly. The primary motive for privatization will not be the one-time financial gain but, instead, the future technology transfer which we expect to receive in those companies.

    Sixth, we will take full advantage of the resources of the EU Task Force to build a modern and prosperous Greece: a Greece characterized by economic opportunity and social equity, and served by an efficient administration with a strong public service ethos. Our goal is to move up to the world’s top-20 countries as regards the ease of doing business as well as the low level of corruption. This within only one generation.

    Seventh, our guiding policy will be that anything which hinders the above or even makes it impossible will be reformed with great speed. We invite our critics to remind us forcefully should we deviate from this policy.

    Finally, it will be a priority for us to raise the spirits of the Greek people again. We will set in motion a Greece-is-Changing movement and we will invite people from all walks of Greek life to participate in creating the vision of a new and more prosperous future perspective for Greece. We will use the most modern media technology available to reach all Greeks with our message on a regular basis.