Editorial: The day after the pandemic
From the gloom of the pandemic period has arisen the greatest opportunity for restructuring the Greek economy and that places a great burden of responsibility on the government.
All the facts and data confirm that we are at the cusp of the global public health crisis between the spasms of the COVID-19 pandemic’s peak and the global push for the immunity that vaccines offer.
We are in the midst of an intense and harsh phase of the virus’s transmission.
Undoubtedly, however, no one now can dispute the fact that science and its accomplishments – vaccines and medicines that are being developed – will prevail over the pandemic and will create the conditions for a return to normalcy.
As a rapidly growing body of evidence internationally shows, expediting vaccination programmes leads to a wall of immunity and helps to gradually meet the preconditions for freeing up societies and their economies from a host of public health restrictions.
The UK is already preparing to announce formally that it has built a wall of immunity through a massive vaccination rollout.
Israel also has nearly freed its citizens from a plethora of restrictions, and it is expected that the US with the current pace of vaccination will soon be in the same encouraging position.
In Greece, and the EU overall, despite problems with the supply chain and delays in distributing vaccines the rollout of late is proceeding rapidly and within a matter of weeks we will have vaccinated the most vulnerable social group – those who are over 60 years old.
In Greece over two million vaccines have been administered and if everything goes smoothly, without unexpected glitches, by late July five million doses will have been administered and the much desired wall of immunity is expected to have been achieved.
The aforementioned positive developments must not undermine vigilance until we are out of the woods, yet they indicate that we can be optimistic that the public health crisis is close to being checked.
We all have a duty to prepare for the day after, especially since we know that there are now sufficient funds and the requisite investment instruments to successfully create the conditions for a dynamic recovery and growth.
All the signals from the domestic and international economic community confirm that the desired take-off of the Greek economy is feasible.
Over the last years – including the period of the pandemic, despite the huge problems and upheavals that it created – there have been great changes in the operation of the economy that can draw the interest of international and domestic investors.
There is a surplus of capital globally at this time. A host of investors are seeking opportunities and Greece remains inexpensive. It has an advantageous geopolitical position and as a member of the eurozone it is institutionally safely anchored, so the risk is checked.
The conditions that are attached to the disbursal of monies from the EU Pandemic Recovery Fund guarantee an effective orientation of reforms and a shift toward a sweeping digital transformation and a green economy.
Nearly 60 percent of available funding will be earmarked for the modernisation and the overhaul of the productive base of the economy.
Hence, from the gloom of the pandemic period has arisen the greatest and most important opportunity for the restructuring of the Greek economy and that places a great burden of responsibility on the country’s leadership.
The government is obliged to focus on the rebirth and reconstruction of the economy and the opposition must contribute responsibly with a view to achieving this overarching objective.
The pandemic will be under control in the near future and in a few months other issues will top the agenda.
There is no longer any room for a short-term outlook. The country will definitely enter a new phase to which everyone must adjust.
Citizens are anxious about the next day and it is impermissible for political parties to delay the process of recovery with the sort of fruitless competition to which they are accustomed.