A good per­for­mance but some prob­lems seem con­stant

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ELIAS MAGLINIS

A re­cent re­port pub­lished by the Good Coun­try In­dex (GCI) shows Greece rank­ing 32nd out of a to­tal of 163 coun­tries. The GCI project was founded by in­de­pen­dent po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Simon An­holt with the sup­port of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions and is based on data pro­vided by the United Na­tions and the World Bank. While the project’s ti­tle could be in­ter­preted as a ref­er­ence to a moral­ity cri­sis, this couldn’t be fur­ther away from what the GCI has set out to do. The project’s prin­ci­pal cri­te­rion is to what ex­tent a state presents a pos­i­tive con­tri­bu­tion to the global com­mu­nity and the hu­man race through its poli­cies and be­hav­ior, based on its pop­u­la­tion and its GDP, as well as through the prism of the fol­low­ing cat­e­gories: Sci­ence and tech­nol­ogy, cul­ture, world peace and se­cu­rity, world or­der, planet and cli­mate, pros­per­ity and equal­ity, and health and well-be­ing. Ac­cord­ing to its founder, a good coun­try is one that makes a real con­tri­bu­tion to hu­man­ity while serv­ing its own in­ter­ests and never go­ing against those of other na­tions or their nat­u­ral re­sources. This, says An­holt, is the new law of hu­man sur­vival. The project’s most re­cent re­search shows Swe­den earn­ing the top spot and Libya the last. Cyprus stands at No 15. Fol­low­ing Swe­den, the top 10 list show­cases Den­mark, the Nether­lands, Bri­tain, Switzer­land, Ger­many, Fin­land, France, Aus­tria and Canada. The United States ranks 20th (for more, visit www.good­coun­try.org). Greece’s per­for­mance is not bad at all con­sid­er­ing the coun­try’s tough eco­nomic po­si­tion and the broad sense of de­spair felt by its peo­ple, with the most se­ri­ous con­se­quence be­ing the so-called “brain drain,” the mas­sive out­flow of its most cre­ative peo­ple, as re­ported in yes­ter­day’s Kathimerini. Re­ports such as the one pub­lished by the GCI act as a re­minder that de­spite a gen­er­al­ized sense of fail­ure, to­day’s bankrupt Greece, with all its en­rag­ing malaises, has ac­com­plished quite a bit over the last decades. One thing should be pointed out, how­ever: the “brain drain” ex­isted well be­fore the ar­rival of the cri­sis. Per­haps it was not ev­i­dent to such a dra­matic de­gree but young peo­ple have al­ways gone abroad in search of a brighter fu­ture – and this has been one of the most se­ri­ous fail­ures of post-dic­ta­tor­ship Greece. The rea­sons for this in­cludes low-qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, a lack of mer­i­toc­racy, cor­rup­tion and the state’s hos­tile stance vis-a-vis en­trepreneur­ship and sci­en­tific re­search, among so many oth­ers. Even if, mirac­u­lously, the fi­nan­cial cri­sis was to be re­solved, the afore­men­tioned malaises would still linger on. A se­ri­ous, fu­ture gov­ern­ment would also be judged for its man­age­ment of these is­sues, which have been plagu­ing the coun­try for decades.

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