The Pissarides Principles: 14-Point Plan for Greece's Economy, Society


Bank of Greece. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos

ATHENS – Already moving to roll back tax hikes on the middle class by the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA, Greece's New Democracy government now has a blueprint from Cypriot Nobel Prize winning economist Christopher Pissarides aimed at promoting “the systematic increase of incomes.”

The 14-point plan also made recommendations it said “will increase productivity, labor and investment.”

The proposal's details weren't released as they are essentially an intermediate text that will undergo public consultation, with the final proposal to follow in September 2020, said Kathimerini.

That would be before the government submits the draft in October to the European Commission, with the Troika of the European Union-European Central Bank-European Stability Mechanism (EU-ECB-ESM) monitoring the economy.

That's under the conditions of an 86-billion euro ($101.27 billion) 2015 bailout.

That was given during the SYRIZA regime although then-premier Alexis Tsipras, who reneged on a 40-point plan to protect workers, pensioners and the poor, broke a vow not to seek more aid because it came with more austerity.

The rescue package was the third since 2010, Greece owing its creditors – also including the Washington, D.C.-based International Monetary Fund, the three bailouts totaling 326 billion euros ($383.9 billion) that ended Aug. 20, 2018.

Part of the Pissarides plan calls for lessening the burden on paid employment through measures including cutting insurance payments, eliminating the solidarity levy and a reduction of the maximum insurable income. 

Other recommendations include the modernization of the financial supervision system in the field of investor protection and modernization of the corporate governance system, the paper said about its arcane nature.

Outside the economy, the plan proposes the immediate operation of specialized departments in the courts for cases of significant financial interest with a maximum of 12 months set until a verdict is issued, with cases often taking 10 years or more to settle.

While Greek workers have fiercely fought back attempts for them to be evaluated, getting successive governments to back down, the plan says the civil service system should be reformed and workers assessed for performance.