Troika is a part­ner to the crime be­ing com­mit­ted

E DII TO RII A L

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

If knowl­edge of a crime makes one an ac­ces­sory and if tol­er­ance, yet keep­ing silent, is tan­ta­mount to have com­mit­ted the crime in ques­tion, then it is un­for­tu­nately true that the gov­ern­ment and the Troika are in­deed “part­ners in crime”.

From day one, this news­pa­per had been sup­port­ive of the ac­tions of the Troika for two sim­ple rea­sons: first, past rec­om­men­da­tions of EC and IMF mis­sions to Cyprus (over the last two decades) had been warn­ing us that pub­lic spend­ing was out of con­trol, in­con­sis­tent with state rev­enues and reach­ing a stage of go­ing be­yond sus­tain­abil­ity, with no gov­ern­ment or politi­cian lend­ing an ear to the warn­ings, hence we had it com­ing. The sec­ond is that some changes or re­forms were im­posed on us where we had failed to in­tro­duce them our­selves, for fear of politi­cians los­ing pub­lic sup­port, par­tic­u­larly from the civil ser­vice elite, as ev­ery few months Cyprus has been fac­ing some elec­tion or an­other.

But what can­not be i mposed is an at­ti­tude change or re­struc­tur­ing our “so­cial fab­ric” as was a cliché not too long ago.

So, the Troikans have re­turned and pat­ted us on the back say­ing “job well done”, not re­al­is­ing that it is not just a mat­ter of black and white or num­bers adding up, but what hap­pens the day af­ter, and the next.

The pub­lic sec­tor re­form com­mis­sioner, just like his boss, keeps on lec­tur­ing us about the beau­ti­ful work that is be­ing done to mod­ernise the gov­ern­ment ma­chine, make it more mod­ern and ef­fi­cient in an ef­fort to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity. On the other hand, the pow­ers that be (in­clud­ing rul­ing and op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal forces) have agreed to re­in­state the wage lev­els of those who got a pro­mo­tion prior to the bailout freeze, which means that any mi­nor pay cut im­posed on, say, teach­ers, will van­ish by Fe­bru­ary, when their re­vised pay­roll will show an in­crease. Surely, this is ex­actly what the Troika wanted to avoid when it claimed that it wanted fis­cal re­forms and spend­ing ton re­main in check and vi­able in the longer-term.

So, if no one has the guts to slap some se­ri­ous pay cuts in the pub­lic ser­vice and slash sev­eral hun­dred (if not thou­sand) more jobs, how can we ex­pect the younger gen­er­a­tion to have any faith in the cur­rent sys­tem, which they see as po­lit­i­cally and so­cially cor­rupt, hence seek­ing bet­ter for­tunes in other lands. And those who stay be­hind have be­come lazy and de­pen­dent on a foul sys­tem that en­cour­ages main­tain­ing the sta­tus quo in all lev­els.

The young, the frus­trated and the unemployed can­not be blamed for try­ing to feed on the present grim sys­tem, be­cause, as they say, “mon­key see, mon­key do.”

And they are right.

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