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For one year in power SYRIZA has totally collapsed the economy

25 January 2016 / 20:01:17  GRReporter
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Incentive policies were not applied. The horizontal cuts in wages and pensions mean absolutely nothing. For example, in the public sector it was necessary to give incentives to those employees who are doing their jobs, in the form of better pay and to dismiss the unskilful ones. This is the only way to create an effective public sector. Incentives for private companies would be the low taxation and the reduced bureaucratic chaos.

Five years after the bankruptcy of the Greek state, and of society that is governed by a leftist and a parasitic ideology, the climate continues to be negative for companies. A large part of currently unemployed Greeks is paying a very high price for it. All those who are migrating to other countries in search of better opportunities are paying for it too.

Recent polls indicate a 4% lead for New Democracy whereas on this day last year SYRIZA won the elections with a double-digit margin. How do you explain this change in the attitudes of society?

As I said earlier, the reason is that since October the state has reached the pockets of households. The moment that there were signs of forthcoming early elections in November 2014, the majority of households stopped paying their tax contributions. The law on deferred payment in 100 contributions was adopted in February-March 2015. In this way a taxpayer, a representative of the middle class, who paid contributions in the range of 500-600 euro, could pay 50-60 euro. The remaining income was available to the family to use it for their own needs.

It might have created a false sense of growth in the private economy on the other hand but above all, it created a positive attitude towards the government. It wanted to collect the money last October, after the early elections in September, thus succeeding in winning them. The attitude of society towards it began to change in September and it will continue to do so while this process continues. I believe that this process will accelerate even more in the coming months.

There have been changes inside the party over the past year, while SYRIZA has been in power. Some of its representatives have left it and founded a new party. Are more divisions expected in SYRIZA and what can cause them?

I think we should have to consider certain the likelihood of further divisions, both to the left of the political spectrum and to the right - that is, to the centre-left space. One of the reasons will be the pension reform.

Any pension reform, even that of the current Minister of Employment George Katrougalos which provides a solution to the problem by increasing the social security contributions can provoke public reactions. In the parliamentary group of SYRIZA, there are people who are influenced by different social groups and the tension is already there. I think that there will be divisions in both directions of the political spectrum over time and due to the deepening deadlocks.

My opinion is that Mr. Tsipras’ structure was based on a lie and he is now paying the price. A funny semblance of a poll is circulating the social networks, asking who has contributed more to Bulgaria’s prosperity. The choice is between Todor Zhivkov and Alexis Tsipras, who is winning 95 per cent of the votes. Why? Because he has contributed to the withdrawal of companies from Greece.

The data still show that not tens of thousands of companies have moved, as alleged. Moreover, Bulgaria has problems of a different nature, which do not make it a "heaven" for doing business, as it is presented.

Yes, the situation is not "heavenly" and in fact, not so many companies have withdrawn. But on the other hand, they are many. For the first time in recent years I have met with Greek businessmen who have bank accounts in Bulgaria in order to be able to work.

This is a significant and very important detail. A few days ago, I was told an indicative story. A plumber who carried out repairs at a house in Athens gave his customers an invoice for services rendered issued by a Bulgarian company. This is a tragedy for any country. And here it is happening en masse.

What are your forecasts for the economic and political 2016?

In economic terms, things are more easily measurable, because deadlocks are progressing at a rapid pace. I think that in 2016 there will be a new rise in unemployment and further withdrawal of companies from Greece.

Anyway, the year did not start well with confrontation between the government and the Canadian company El Dorado, which is caused by narrow political motives. Because the government will be forced to increase the social security contributions and taxes, or to cut the pensions, it is deepening the confrontation with a private company to show that it is still consistent in a particular matter. However, this is a disastrous step, not only for one or five thousand employees whose job depends on the company. This is a very negative signal sent to foreign countries, with regard to the economy of the country. But the government does not understand this because the people who have leftist views on economic issues do not understand that rumours have much greater consequences for the economy than direct accounting.

In political terms, I think all options are open. But probably because our European partners would not want us to have new elections, I would consider possible an expansion of the government coalition, i.e. that more parties would support the parliamentary majority. Anyway, I do not think that elections would provide a solution at this point.

Tags: PoliticsSYRIZAOne year in powerEconomyCrisisEconomic analystKostas Stupas
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