In one way or another, the country seems to be finding its way. After eight years of wavering, flip-flops, delays, and repeated political games, it now appears to be in a position to fulfil all of its commitments that derive from the bailout programmes.
The fourth and last bailout evaluation is drawing to a close. The last preconditions will soon come to a vote in parliament. Barring any accident, in July at latest Greece’s partners and creditors are obliged to provide a decent debt relief package, sufficient to permit the Greek economy to return to the markets and to seek the necessary funding with its own forces.
The road is neither self-evident, nor strewn with rose petals.
It conceals traps and obstacles that are not immediately apparent. The markets have vicissitudes and are sensitive to backpedaling, especially in countries such as ours, with a tradition of over-borrowing and bankruptcies.
Hence, what will be required is discipline, vigilance, and above all persistence and fiscal stability, without which we shall slide once again into a crisis, perhaps bigger than the previous one.
Beyond that, in the position that Greece finds itself, small, timid steps will not suffice.
The Greek people, which endured so much during the eight-year crisis, demands leaps of progress and prosperity, and will not compromise with miserable choices that will condemn it to another eight, low-flight years of stagnation. It cannot remain hostage to ideological fixations and outdated growth models, such as those which inspired the authors of the government’s much-touted “holistic” growth programme, which the prime minister presented to his cabinet last week, with exceeding pride.
In the contemporary world, one need not reinvent the wheel in order to achieve progress. There are infinite models of high growth and economic rebirth all around the globe.
Just the experiences of European countries that confronted crises similar to that of Greece suffice to allow one to look to the future with optimism. The cases of Ireland, Portugal, and Cyprus constitute bright examples.
In all three of these EU member-states, the path towards development was opened by private entrepreneurship, which jump-started their economies and played a leading role in guiding them to growth.
In each case, the state simply fulfilled the commitments it had assumed, created conditions of stability and trust, and offered the private sector a playing field of free and unhindered action.
The difference was made by the private sector, domestic and foreign, the capital that they mobilised, and the investments that they triggered, with the trust that they showed in post-bailout stability, which allowed exploitation of the opportunities that emerged.
That is the successful recipe that is followed throughout the contemporary world, all the more so in small, regional countries such as Greece, with geographic and other particularities.
Let us not get lost in labyrinthine schemes and chaotic ideas that lead nowhere. The solution is right before our eyes, and calls upon us to adopt it.
Let those who are in power, then, remove the distortive, ideological-political glasses that they have donned.
The Greek people cannot wait any longer.