Not a single euro wasted on productive reconstruction

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A good friend never forgets an attack: “The past teaches.” And he is right. Only in our country, there are not enough people who choose to take advantage of the “lessons” of the past ξεκινή But let’s start by telling a story with “sufferings” that never became “lessons” for political personnel. In April 2010, the Bank of Greece commissioned the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy – ELIAMEP, as it is widely known – to conduct a study on “the impact of the policies pursued and will be pursued by the Greek economy.” the EU budget “. In the introductory note to the report, published in April 2014, I read about the study and those in charge of the research-authors’ teams: “The Management and Responsibility of the First Part” of the study, which concerned the evaluation of programming periods by 1988 to 2011, had George Glynos. This project was his last offer. George Glynos passed away in May 2013, after a long illness “.

Two technocrats with knowledge

Economist George Glynos – an adviser to prime ministers such as G. Papandreou and L. Papadimos, but also the founder of the Task Force in Greece – is just 64 years old. As it is written in newspapers of the time, Glynos had suffered a heart attack in the fall of 2011 during the negotiations for the Greek haircut. He, according to his rich biography, worked at the BoG (1976-1983) and at the Permanent Greek Delegation to the EU (1983-1988). From 1989 to 2006 he worked on the Commission in the offices of Commissioners as a member and as director and in the General Directorates, Regional Policy and Enlargement.

His main research interests are European integration and Greece’s relations with the EU, especially in the areas of macroeconomic and monetary policy, regional policy and enlargement policy towards Turkey.

The “General Conclusions” of the First Part are also posted on the website of ELIAMEP ( ). Achilles Mitsos had the baton in the direction of the Second Part of the study, which was completed in July 2012 and concerned the analysis of the negotiation parameters for the new fiscal framework for the period 2014-2020. The latter has a rich knowledge of the environment of Brussels and the Greek reality. The Secretary-General of Research and Technology for a short period of time (2010-2011) sent with “concise procedures” his resignation to the then Minister of Education Anna Diamantopoulou. In those years he also received a “good dose” from the operation of the Greek public university (professor of International Economic Relations at the University of the Aegean). He has been living in Brussels for the past few years. From 2000 to 2006 he was Director-General of the EU, in charge of science, research and technological development. He previously served as Director of the European Commission for Human Resources Research (1996), Vocational Training (1993), Coordination of Structural Funds (1987) and Director of the Office of Commissioner Grigoris Varfis (1985).

The reference to the CVs of the two main contributors to ELIAMEP’s study – commissioned by the Bank of Greece – is anything but coincidental. They end up with the groups of their associates in conclusions that should have long ago sounded the alarm bell for a change of course.

The conclusions of the study of ELIAMEP and the Bank of Greece released in 2014 meet in a strange way the conclusions of a collective publication, the responsibility of which is overseen by 4 academics, including a Nobel Laureate, who has recently been at the forefront. publicity.

The path of development is possible

A few days ago I wrote to “Beyond Austerity”. And below, the subtitle: “For a new dynamic in the Greek economy”. The cover that refers to the endless blue of the Archipelago and the journey of an entire country that seeks its new destination is completed by the names of the curators of the collective volume: Dimitris Vagianos, Nikos Vettas, Costas Meger, Christoforos Pissarides. The “4” also sign the preface. I read the preface and kept in mind the last lines and their content. At anti-globalization demonstrations in several Western capitals, participants – mostly members of far-left organizations – shouted the slogan: Another world is possible!
Not a single euro wasted on productive reconstruction

Curators – all prominent members of the international academic community – choose to challenge their own slogan: A path to high prosperity and growth is possible!

The names of the curators played loudly in the media on the occasion of the government’s decision to set up a Commission to draw up a new Development Plan for the Greek Economy. The Commission, as noted by several parties, “consists of economists who combine scientific expertise, international renown, market knowledge and experience in economic policy planning.”

The president is Christoforos Pissarides (professor of LSE and the University of Cyprus, Nobel Prize in Economics 2010) and his deputy is Nikos Vettas (general director of IOBE, professor of OPA). Other members with a coordinating role are Dimitris Vagianos (professor at LSE) and Konstantinos Meger (professor at Yale University).

Not a single euro wasted on productive reconstruction
Ch. Pissarides

From the preface to the collective volume of 2017 I hold a useful passage: “(…) the transformation of the necessary reform sections into a coherent economic policy program requires appropriate prioritization, specialization and interconnection.

Successful implementation in practice of many structural reforms is also facilitated especially when the macroeconomic and investment environment is gradually improving. The reason is that then the necessary space is created for the financial incentives to work, for the social groups and the companies that are affected, and for a new dynamic to be invested. The relative danger, of course, is that without steady political guidance and social consensus, a short-term increase in income can be misinterpreted as a lack of need for cuts in the structure of the economy and a reason for complacency. ”

Not a single euro wasted on productive reconstruction
N. Vettas

The close interconnection of reforms under steady political guidance with the development perspective is the key to the success of any program in the economy. A highlight that seems to be a commonplace among economists, businessmen and managers, but also among political executives who play a role in shaping and implementing public development policies.

Strengthen research and innovation

Let’s take an example. I read in ELIAMEP’s study with the Bank of Greece in 2014: “Strengthening research, technological development and innovation” appears as the first of eleven priorities, which typically includes two more priorities directly related to knowledge – education and information and communication technologies. Contrary to the practice followed in Greece (as in other countries, though not all), the Commission, in all its texts on the conditions for economic recovery, also in the proposal for cohesion policy in the new period, emphasizes the importance of emphasis on innovation, technological development and research. Parliament and the Council appear to be adopting this approach.

The establishment of priorities, which are not just guidelines, but are largely mandatory for states, is, as already mentioned, accompanied by a multiple expansion of the principle of dependence. A condition for funding in research, technology and innovation is the satisfaction of the following criteria:

  • “Smart specialization”,
  • adopt a specific national framework for available resources for research and innovation and
  • adopt a multi-year national plan to promote projects related to major European research infrastructure.

If one looks critically back in time, one will find that since the 2014 study, very few things have been done or taken the path of their implementation. We will hear many of them again soon… The 32 billion euros of the new single Recovery Fund intended for our country are a constant challenge but also an obvious temptation. In any case, experts – economists – will have the first role in shaping public policies that will need to be an effective tool for leveraging available resources. In other words, not a single euro should be lost. The opportunity should not be wasted and not used for the productive reconstruction of our country.

Command liability for the next steps

Speaking at a recent meeting of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis gave the data and the framework, as well as the mandate for the next steps: “Greece will receive tens of billions of euros in funding from this program… It is a great opportunity to transform the country. us and use them to transform our development model, just as we have pledged to do. The new fund, however, is also increasing our responsibilities. It is very important that these funds take place. It is imperative that they do not stick to bureaucracy.

Nor should they go through the difficulties that NSRF programs have gone through over time. This will require careful central planning so that we can make the most of them. In an article I read this morning, I read an interesting phrase, and I mention it because I think it describes in one sentence what we should not do with this big package: We will not scatter the money in the four winds with the carelessness of the new rich. I think this phrase should describe the way and the responsibility that we must all show for the use of this very important European capital, which is made available to our country. ”


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