GSEE Report on the Transformation of Greek Economy

Αssociated Press

A man walks past by parked electric trolley buses in a depot during a 24-hour strike organized by GSEE, the biggest labor union representing the entire private sector and many public sector workers in Athens on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. Unions want the left-led government to ditch key elements of the austerity packages that were imposed in waves since 2010 to balance the country's public finances, under pressure from international bailout creditors. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

ATHENS -- The transformation of the Greek economy is complex and demands a new development strategy based on employment, labor and improving living quality of citizens, Yiannis Panagopoulos, president of GSEE –Greece’s largest trade union umbrella- said on Thursday.

Presenting the annual report on the Greek economy and employment drafted by the Labor Insitute of the union, Panagopoulos said the planning of a new development strategy should be accompanied by an essential social dialogue.

The main points, positions and recommendations of economic policy included in the annual report are:

- A double crisis has caused significant negative consequences on labor market and the lives of workers and citizens, a burst of uncertainty and insecurity.

- The economy fell back to a deep recession in the last few months

- Households are in dire straits because of the pandemic crisis

- The Institute noted that in the short-term the economy could exit the crisis and enter a sustainable growth dynamic course by protecting the volume and quality of employment and raising available income among middle and lower income earners

- Business investments remain low which their main volume focuses on building infrastructure. There is a lack of investments that could lead to a stronger productive net.

- The current volume and structure of domestic private investments are factors adding uncertainty to the macro-economic function of the economy

- In the long-term, the cohesion, resistance and sustainability of the economy will depend on increasing private, public and social investments, focusing on green investments

- A resurgence of the pandemic crisis creates significant limitations and challenges in implementing a fiscal policy

- Rising debt issuance offers short-term benefits but at the same time raise credit risk of refinancing the debt in the medium- and long-term

- Latest trends in the labor market show dramatic changes in fundamental labor rights

- Export orientation of the economy remains problematic since there has been no improvement in the structural competitiveness of the economy

- The quality downgrade of a basket of export products reflects the deterioration of economic complexity of the domestic productive model

- An efficient development strategy should focus on the technological upgrading and variety of exports

- The agri-food system has remarkable and unexploited potential

- The development transformation of the country requires an holistic strategy of setting priorities, comparative advantages and restructuring the productive model.