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Thursday, 18 June 2015

Mark Mazower; Greece: The Seeds of the Problem. The 1980s? The 1970s? The 1960s? The Greek Problem

From ekathimerini - The seeds of the Greek problem were sown in 1980s

Perhaps the problem goes further back, to the 1960s?

Peace March, 1964/1965. 'Lambrakides' of Corfu

From the book "Greece", Studio Vista, 1959 (1964 edition):

"Greece remains as always a paradise for retired soldiers...The economic transformation which gives the country its air of opulence. Crowded restaurants, tempting window displays, well-dressed people...How can this leisure be maintained, now, in the midst of the rigorous discipline made necessary by an organised, Western European way of life? How can they run with the hares and hunt with the hounds?" (p. 87)

Or, a little later, the 1970s? OECD Report 

It is interesting to read the OECD Economic Survey of Greece, published in August 1979,

Some medium-term fiscal issues (pp 32-37):

"Increasing concern in recent years about the effects of high budget deficits has focused attention on the question of tax evasion in a number of OECD countries. In Greece, tax evasion would seem to be on a considerable scale and since mid-1978 serious efforts have been launched to try and combat it...
The reduction of tax evasion also concerns the need to increase tax revenues so as to lower the budget deficit from the high level of recent years and thus improve the budgetary position. Partly reflecting tax evasion, tax revenues have been rising comparatively slowly over a long period which has led to a marked deterioration of the central government saving position...Direct tax pressure is very weak in Greece...Tax evasion and avoidance have grown over time, especially between 1967 and 1974....a considerable expansion of tax evasion and tax avoidance in this period."

Policy considerations (p. 49):

"A reappraisal of medium-term policies that can best promote sustainable growth with an acceptable balance of payments position is made more urgent by Greece's forthcoming entry into the European Economic Community. EEC membership can be expected to confer considerable advantages and opportunities to the Greek economy but it will also imply, over time, significant adjustments in the structure of production, demand and costs if the new opportunities are to be exploited and competition from some of the most advanced industrial nations are to be successfully met. There is considerable evidence that over the past several years increases in employment took place to some extent at the expense of productivity in large sectors protected from external and domestic competition...Provided that a reallocation of resources in favour of non-residential investment is achieved and sufficient efforts are made to increase the efficiency of industry, and also of the public sector, Greece could reasonably look forward to reaping considerable benefits from the new conditions of increased economic integration within the EEC framework."

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