How the Troika alienates its friends

The in-depth reform of Greek public administration is urgently needed and a priority for the country. The assessment of structures and personnel, as well as their mobility, should be a permanent feature of how the public service is run.

This is the only way that we can we build a modern, productive, efficient state. And it should be a feature of all reforms. If they are to benefit the Greek people, the reasoning goes, they ought to have a positive impact. But as they are sometimes pushed through in a desultory fashion, they make the people who should back them mistrustful.

Take how changes are rung in within the public service. The Troika’s primary goal, for example, is to lay off 15,000 civil servants. To avoid upsetting the public, the talk is of “assessment” and “mobility”. In short, whatever it takes to achieve a goal that has already been set – the lay-offs. This belittles the importance of the Greek public service and breeds mistrust and a negative political and social climate just when modernisation is vital.

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