Editorial: Benefits or investments and growth?

Once again we are witnessing pledges of a host of social benefits, and area in which Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is by far the champion.

Undaunted after the benefits he handed out on the eve of European and local elections on 26 May failed to woo voters, he is still making promises in an effort to halt his party's downward spiral.

As pleasant as these pledges may seem at first blush, one must consider their cost given the fact that money trees do not grow in Greece.

Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras warned yesterday that the super-primary surpluses (the amount beyond the 3.5 percent of GDP agreed to with creditors) that the government had achieved and used to cover its handouts are over.

The Central Bank projects a 2.9 percent primary surplus for 2019.

SYRIZA's conscious choice of draining the economy and households in order to play the role of protector of the poor has exceeded all limits.

If one does not want to return to the wayward past, one must realise that public finances have reached the limit.

To ensure a better future for the country and its citizenry one needs a growth dynamic and not the distribution of paltry benefits.

It is irrational in the current conditions of stagnation and continuing crisis for public investment to be constantly dropping.

The country urgently needs productive investments (mainly private but also public) that can fuel strong growth.

The rally on the Athens Stock Exchange and the falling spreads on Greek bonds in recent weeks demonstrate that an opportunity exists, as long as the next government can free itself from the prevailing sins and ideological fixations.

The steps that must be taken have been exhaustively described and analysed and are well known.<...

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