Thursday, 29 November 2012

Greeks Pay 14bn for Bureaucracy

The cost of Greece's central administration comes to 14 billion euro a year, or 6.8 percent of GDP, a study revealed yesterday. That figure includes above-table costs and an estimate of the cost of corruption.

The study was presented by Prof. Panayotis Karkatsoulis, who teaches at the School of Public Administration. He blames over-regulation, which allows state functionaries to thrive off legal loopholes. Since 1975, says Karkatsoulis, Greece has passed 171,500 laws, presidential decrees, ministerial decisions and local government decisions. He also blames the size of central administration, which he estimates employs over 53,000 people.

"Excessive legal formalism, obsession with detail and [administrative] diaspora ...[lead us] to a system of administration where the functional state and correct organisation are distorted so as to serve the deeply-rooted client relationship between the citizen and the state," Karkatsoulis says.

Karkatsoulis conducted a poll revealing that most public employees would like to be better organised (90 percent) and support reform (90 percent) and deregulation (65 percent). He said all laws and surveys contributing towards these ends have been routinely ignored.

The venue was a conference held by the Greek branch of Transparency International, which has posted Karkatsoulis' presentation

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