For the seventh consecutive year, the Federation of Industries of Greece (SBE) has organised the ‘GREEK VALUE’ awards of Greece.
This has now become the established endeavour of our Federation to showcase and promote healthy manufacturing enterprises, which in the face of the crisis, continue to operate in Greece, pay the overwhelming taxes and duties while managing to preserve jobs.
In a climate of lasting de-industrialisation in Greece, SBE continues to argue that the reversal in the negative direction of manufacturing can only come about if the notion of ‘Greek Value’ is sufficiently promoted in our society and becomes the central pole of policy axis and which will steer the country out of the economic crisis.
That was our vision back in 2010, when we discussed the issue with the then Prime Minister, Mr Georgios Papandreou.
Our proposal once again returns to the foreground and is specific: the unquestioned value of Greek products at home and abroad, should be our slogan, first of all to regain the market share for Greek products domestically, and thereafter as a means of conquering foreign markets.
In any case, the movement to support ‘Greek Value’ will contribute to a) the viability of Greek companies, b) safeguarding social cohesion in the provinces, and c) faster recovery for our economy to exit the crisis.
On the other hand, the economic crisis has brought into focus the problems of the old developmental model, and for this reason it is now more imperative than ever for there to be a national industrial policy. Therefore, we propose the following:
- highlight the importance and role of manufacturing for the country’s growth and for regional development, and once more bring it back to the centre stage of the government’s policy for growth,
- pursue a fundamental industrial policy involving changes to the General Secretariat of Industry of the Ministry of Economy and Development from being a body for the application, realisation and managing of programmes, to a body for planning, producing and carrying out industrial policy,
- exercise (indirectly) a sectoral industrial policy and bolster vulnerable yet dynamic manufacturing sectors (e.g. agricultural products), while at the same time highlighting the comparative advantages of the country’s areas and regions together with the financing of the productive base of the country, according to priority,
- come to an agreement on a specific strategic agenda for the restructuring of manufacturing by 2020, and
- create reconstruction programmes for areas facing a crisis in industry.
In any case, the promotion of ‘Greek Value’ as a way out of the crisis for the country requires, above all, a break from the past obsession of society harbouring a permanently hostile attitude towards private enterprise.
While everyone now accepts that the private sector of the economy, and in particular manufacturing, will get the country out of the crisis, it is the public administration that constitutes the main stumbling block, as it remains strongly resistant to implementing the great and vital changes needed in society…
In any case, it is patently obvious that there is no time to waste, not even for frivolous disagreements over how development is visualised. The responsibility of every one of us is called ‘national consensus on development’. Only with a concrete national dialogue can we gather opinions and finally achieve an agreement between the political forces and the business community for a new productive model for Greece.
The business community and the bodies which represent it have well-founded positions and proposals…