Growth re­quires so­cial con­sen­sus on re­form

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

None of th­ese early suc­cesses in cor­rect­ing the im­bal­ances, which brought about the cri­sis in the first place, will have been worth­while, un­less the nec­es­sary struc­tural re­forms are im­ple­mented so that the coun­try can as­pire to sus­tain­able re­cov­ery and, even­tu­ally, eco­nomic growth. But for this to hap­pen the re­form pro­gramme has to be “owned” by the po­lit­i­cal es­tab­lish­ment and so­ci­ety at large. For now, this is not the case.

This can be partly ex­plained by the fact that much of the po­lit­i­cal lead­er­ship’s en­ergy is spent on the “blame game” as to who is re­spon­si­ble for the cri­sis in­stead of ex­plain­ing why the pro­posed mea­sures are for the ben­e­fit of the vast majority of so­ci­ety. Also, in re­fus­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for pol­icy mis­takes and past ex­cesses, it is eas­ier and more con­ve­nient to ab­solve the lo­cal vot­ing pop­u­la­tion and to blame the “for­eign­ers” who are “im­pos­ing” con­di­tions and as such they are an easy tar­get. The peo­ple of the Troika them­selves could have done a bet­ter job in ex­plain­ing the ra­tio­nale of the pro­posed re­form pro­gramme, through a more ac­tive en­gage­ment with civil so­ci­ety.

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