Reforms during the time of the Recovery Fund

But let ‘s take things in stride. Let’s start with what the term “Reform” means today

Lately I have hearing and reading comments – especially on social media – about what the Recovery Fund has to do with reforms? The commentators seem to have no single source of ideological and political background, while their motives cover a wide range of aspirations and expediencies – some see the Recovery Fund solely as a machine for new money in the market and others hear the word reform and… scramble away.

But let ‘s take things in stride. Let’s start with what the term “Reform” means today. Instead, I prefer to give a specific example from the “Greece 2.0” Plan. In the detailed presentation of the Plan on page 166 under the general title “Creation of new Marine Spatial Planning” one can find and read one such reform intervention. The latter aims at the implementation of new marine spatial planning with the aim of attracting, among other things, investments in offshore Renewable Energy Sources (offshore wind turbines, etc.), which will utilize the huge wind potential of the Greek maritime territory.

Reform is an intervention with specific goals and a specific response both socially and economically. So, for the first time, we have an organized intervention with a comprehensive proposal for the formation of a new, flexible, and effective institutional framework in order, through investments, to utilize the huge wind potential of the Greek maritime territory. In other words, the new institutional framework will regulate even the smallest details so that an investor – in fact nowadays, strong business groups with the structure, means, and know-how from Greece and abroad – can “set up” floating wind farms.

Moreover, the very intervention due to the formation of a new institutional framework will create, from scratch, in an organized manner and under defined terms and specifications with a new, for Greek standards, market  – a market open and ready to receive investment.

Let’s look at a second example. On page 165 of the “Greece 2.0” Plan we find a reform concerning the environment and the quality of life in cities in direct relation to economic and business activity. Specifically, the preparation and ratification of urban plans, local and special as well as the demarcation of areas and reception zones, transfer of building factors, the demarcation of settlements, and the plans of characterization of public roads will cover the whole country leading within the next five years to completion of the country’s cadaster (currently only covering 20% of territory).

“The reform”, as it is pointed out, “will facilitate legitimate construction by solving one of the big problems that has delayed and hindered, over time, the attraction of investments and environmentally friendly urban development”. In this direction, the Recovery Fund has planned to spend the amount of 250 million euros, which will be directed to the creation of local and special urban plans utilizing all the scientific and technical potential of the country.

In previous years – especially the first years of the era of the Memoranda – the term “Reform” had truly been abused. In fact, the often fragmentary measures without the prospect of changing the lives of citizens who were affected, and without recourse  by large social groups bore the term “Reform”. Naming such as reforms were the easy, inexpensive solutions for political staff.

Today, let me argue that the situation is very different. First, the “Greece 2.0” Plan, on which the triptych “Projects – Investments – Reforms” is based, has owners who accept the fact that they are also owners of the Plan. Secondly, the owners of the Plan, ie its inspirers and authors, are also the ones who were called to implement it in practice. Their names are known. You read their views and listen to them almost every day. The only thing I would add on my part is that all of them – with no exceptions – come from the reform side of the political hill.

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