Troika is a partner to the crime being committed
E DII TO RII A L
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.