Editorial: Consent and growth
The crisis has hit the Greek economy and people hard for the past five years. This harsh reality was greatly confirmed by the report of the Governor of…
The crisis has hit the Greek economy and people hard for the past five years. This harsh reality was greatly confirmed by the report of the Governor of the Bank of Greece, which shows that at the end of 2012 there were 3,795,100 people either on the poverty line or in a state of social exclusion.
That number is a monstrosity and reveals the true conditions dominating Greek society. On any given day, anyone strolling through the streets of Athens can see fellow people sleeping rough, begging for something to eat or sifting through the garbage for a piece of bread.
According to the study’s data, over poverty nearly doubled in Greece over the past two years, as about 1,010,900 (or 16.1% of 18-59 year olds) live in households where nobody works or works less than three months in a year. In 2010 and 2011 there were 544,800 and 837,300 people in such a state respectively.
The market and the economic indicators from the closing months of 2013 suggest that the country has finally hit rock bottom. Cars are back on the streets, building permits are being issued – even if it is coincidental, the people are returning to the shops.
The Greek economy seems to be stabilizing, but it is now at a critical junction. Everything from now on demands a lot of attention from all political powers, whether they are in power or the opposition.
The growth that everyone admits will return in 2014 must be protected by all means. The surpluses that were achieved with sacrifices must not be squandered for petty political gains.
That money must be distributed amongst those who truly need it. Greek society cannot stand to see resources being plundered, like they had been for the past decades.
It is necessary to divert funds to growth investments that will generate jobs for the hundreds of thousands of unemployed. The tourist industry paved the way in 2013. This year seems to be even better.
The parties tend to agree on the most important points of their program. As much as they may want to highlight their differences, the goal is one – growth. It is no coincidence that in Europe and the USA the politics are mostly the same. They should therefore support it and set aside the political games that impoverished 34% of the people.