Can Greece become competitive overnight? | Alessio Terzi at Bruegel.org

This is an important, must-read article from think-tank Breugel, citing latest research. Check it out!

via Can Greece become competitive overnight? | Alessio Terzi at Bruegel.org.

Let me give you a flavor:

Clearly, the latest competitiveness rankings do matter in so far as they illustrate how further and significant progress is yet to be made. However, it would be naïve to believe that a country with admittedly limited administrative capacity, high corruption levels, political instability, and severe spending constraints could achieve top scores like Denmark or Latvia overnight. Possibly it’s also thanks to these reforms that Greece has returned to growth in 2014 – and this is something also the new Greek government should acknowledge, before hastily unraveling the efforts of the past.

Greece has made enormous progress but the new government may well push the clock back, with extreme demands on creditors.

There are no magic solutions. But there are choices, with their respective risks. Then, of course there is the world of ‘unintended consequences’. I hope that the citizens of Greece do not live to regret their choice of government.

Thoughts?

One response

  1. The short answer to Dr Alf’s question is no because overnight transformations in performance,economic or in any field of endeavour require the qualities of Spartanism,a burning desire to improve,effort,self denial and the perfectly disciplined will coupled with relentless focus and an enormous amount of hard work.

    The choice of political party by the Greek people,their unwillingness to face up to difficult truths and their belief in the idea that others must pay for their mistakes means that the process will take years.

    In fairness this would apply to the UK as well given the public’s feeling that the UK is somehow able to defy the laws of supply and demand and the need to pay its way.

    However the Greeks are in a class of their own when it comes to paying taxes,worker productivity and administrative competence.

    Transformation will be slow and very painful but it needs to be so that they burn indelibly into their brains the concept of “no free lunch”

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