Editorial: The debt of our partners…

Editorial: The debt of our partners… | tovima.gr

The positive developments on the economic front that Mr. Stournaras alluded to over the past few days seem to be confirmed by the data regarding the execution of the 2013 budget. It is a fact that the primary surplus will be far larger that the initial estimations of the troika. The estimations of a 3.9 billion euro surplus, if confirmed by Eurostat in April, are going to be an ace in the government’s hand in the negotiations.

Despite the constant mumbling about delays and inefficiencies of the state mechanism, the results are far better than even the most optimistic predictions. Obviously thanks to the huge sacrifices of the Greek people, who despite the dramatic loss of revenue, managed to pay to a great extent their unbearable, truth be told, tax obligations. It is commonly held, even by international financial analysts, that Greece has performed the greatest fiscal consolidation in decades. Regardless of the problems that still exist, such as tax evasion, public finances have improved to a great extent allowing the government to negotiate the debt, as promised by our partners. It is also clear that the troika insisted (and possibly continues to insist) upon a series of harsh measures, that were based on erroneous estimations and predictions.

It is therefore time for our European partners to recognize that the Greek society and economy cannot stand a new cycle of harsh austerity measures, that it is time to allow growth to return and help the private economy escape the vicious cycle of the recession. It is also an opportunity for the government to take advantage of the surplus in the best and most efficient way, beyond the negotiations with our creditors. Aside from the necessary reforms for the social groups that have been affected the most by the crisis, it is important to revise certain taxes and to divert funds to investments and growth, rather than consumption. It is the only way to kick start the economy and to begin reducing the huge wave of unemployment.

The government is not allowed to miss this opportunity, nor waste it on pre-election benefits and motives…


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