Monday, July 30, 2018

No Longer A Task Force To Turn To!

One expression keeps recurring whenever some form of disaster strikes Greece (be that the refugee crisis, forest fires, etc.), namely that "the Greek state is dysfunctional."

One conveniently tends to forget that there once was an EU Task Force for Greece whose mandate it was, among other things, to help the Greek state to become more functional. Its mission statement proposed that "the Task Force is a resource at the disposal of the Greek authorities as they seek 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."

Whether it is a nation-wide real estate cadastre with zoning maps, emergency plans for natural disasters, waste management, etc. etc. - all that and many, many more things fall into the category of an 'efficient public administration'.

The trouble with the TFGR was that it was "at the disposal of Greek authorities" to be used by the Greek authorities "as they seek to build a modern and prosperous Greece." It couldn't have any authority on its own because that would have been considered an interference with Greek sovereignty.

There no longer is a TFGR which the Greek state could turn to for assistance but it is highly doubtful, in my opinion, that the Greek state, on its own, can accomplish something within a short time frame for which other countries have required decades and centuries of experience and culture to develop - a well-functioning state and public administration. The TFGR falls into the category of missed opportunities.


  1. The biggest problem with economic discussions about Greece is that both sides follow arguments that are red herrings.

    For example, the pro-euro side ignores the macroeconomic problems of the Eurozone and focuses exclusively on the mismanagement of Greece. The anti-euro side does the opposite. The result is that we are caught in a loop.

    Thankfully, it becomes more and more obvious, globally, that the fiscal and monetary policy of the Eurozone represents a major problem.

  2. So yet another bureaucratic commission (of insanely well compensated consultants?) was exactly what was missing all that time? Besides, what exactly did they do except publish that very vague, very trite, quite often ridiculously contradictory and completely redundant report you linked to in your 2016 post?

  3. That the TFGR, SRSS and others have failed in Greece come as no surprise. They will keep failing in a country where the citizens, with the words of Nikos Dimou, claim to know four times more than they have actually ever learned.

    1. Whereas people who have read Nikos Dimou booklet and have learned it by heart rushing to quote him no matter the occasion, or they simply attribute their very own rants to THE philosopher, know everything there is to know about the people Nikos Dimou wrote about… It's to wonder who has learned and knows more: Nikos Dimou or the Lennards of the world…

  4. I found it appropriate to quote Nikos Dimou as he wrote it shorter, better and 35 years before me.
    My own experience with it, as consulting engineer for Greek companies, has been that it can be profitable to try to facilitate knowledge transfer, but it is very seldom rewarding.