December 9, 2019

IT WILL BE LIKE DONALD NEVER EXISTED:

A nation's remarkable recovery of trust (The Monitor's Editorial Board, 12/09/19, CS Monitor)

Take it from a country that knows - it is possible to restore lost trust.

On Dec. 9, a day designated as International Anti-Corruption Day, a new Greek prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, hailed his country's latest step in battling corruption. For the first time, Greece will have a single, independent body to probe government wrongdoing. The so-called Transparency Authority, Mr. Mitsotakis said, will also help restore the qualities needed in public life to regain Greece's credibility.

The new graft-busting agency is one more milestone in Greece's odyssey to redeem its reputation. A decade ago, the government admitted it had been lying about the size of the national debt. Instead of being 3.7% of gross domestic product, it was more than 15%. The falsification of official data shook financial markets and almost broke up the European Union's single-currency zone.

Europe's economy spiraled into recession. Its leaders then worked hard to instill a culture of integrity in Greece along with providing it with massive bailouts - the largest ever to a country on the brink of bankruptcy.

That work is steadily paying off. Almost every political party now supports open and rational economic policies, such as creation of the new anti-corruption agency. The government is running a budget surplus that is verifiable. This year, the Athens stock exchange could be the world's best performer. Greece is again borrowing from financial markets on very favorable terms. And its economic growth could reach 3% next year.

Posted by at December 9, 2019 4:54 PM

  

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