The Most Important Thing that Mr. Mitsotakis has Done Since Assuming Office


FILE - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (Photo by Eurokinissi/Tatiana Bollari)

The implementation of deadlines.

During a televised session of his first meeting with the 50 people in his Cabinet, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis signaled what he wanted the new government to look like. Each minister was given a six-month plan stating specific objectives that will have to be met by December and explaining how progress is to be evaluated.

After only a couple weeks on the job, Mr. Mitsotakis is already demonstrating his American work-ethic and letting his Westernized mentality shine through. Having been educated at Harvard and Stanford and having worked in the private sector, Mr. Mitsotakis understands the value of time, the importance of deadlines, and, as a result, the perils of procrastination. He knows the merit of instilling a sense of urgency onto a population who is notorious for its lack of punctuality – but a population who is more than capable of accomplishing great things.

While Mr. Mitsotakis’ trajectory – i.e., setting goals and deadlines to achieve those goals – may seem commonplace to those living outside the borders of Greece, it has been treated as a foreign concept by the Greek media – evidenced by the fact that so much air-time has been dedicated to discussing these 6-month deadlines.

The Greek poet Hesiod warned us: “do not put your work off till tomorrow and the day after; for a sluggish worker does not fill his barn, nor one who puts off his work: industry makes work go well, but a man who puts off work is always at hand-grips with ruin.”

It’s time for us to get back to these roots. Mr. Mitsotakis has spoken to too many Greeks who have suffered for too long and who, up until now, could not see the light at the end of the tunnel. He knows that they have been promised a lot in the past, but have not experienced any real change for a long time.

Thus, while implementing these deadlines may seem like a novel and daunting concept to some of the newly appointed Cabinet members, their effectiveness will surely be undeniable – one way or the other. “I never hid before the election my ambition for this government to function as a well-tuned machine with targets, a timeframe, and constant evaluation,” Mr. Mitsotakis said.

Generally speaking, if it wasn’t for deadlines, nothing would get done. Perhaps Mr. Mitsotakis is onto something – perhaps these deadlines, as intimidating as they may seem now, are exactly what Greece’s leaders need to jumpstart the process of finally getting things done for the Greek population after not only 4 wasted years, but many lost decades.

Now it’s showtime.