Sunday, June 19, 2011

Why Bureaucracy Is Needed: Greece

Two paragraphs from today's NYTimes article on the Greece mess.  The lead-in is that the EU has doubts over Greece's capacity to reform and retrench its government:

“The main problem is that he’s [the prime minister] only been able to deliver on the parts of the austerity package that are easily enforceable and transparent and irrevocable,” such as cuts to public sector salaries and pensions, said Spyros Economides, a political scientist who co-directs the Hellenic Observatory at the London School of Economics. “Unfortunately, the rest of it is a complete mess.”
“It’s very easy to legislate,” Mr. Economides added. “The problem is to enforce legislation. There’s no enforcement mechanism. It’s all done for the eyes of the public.”
My point is Greece apparently doesn't have a reasonably effective and honest bureaucracy, one which will work away in the back rooms implementing the promises of the PM and the laws of the Parliament.  If Greece defaults and becomes another Lehman Brothers, triggering further economic downturns, we can say: "for want of a Greek bureaucrat, the economy was lost"

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