To restart the economy we first need to reboot our minds, and “digest” the following cruel truth:
- The real problem is not our debt, but the mechanism that creates it. Even it was all forgiven, the parasitic state and its clients (in the private sector, too) would recreate it.
- The prosperity was "fake." We relied on loans. Everyone - without exception - even though we worked long and hard, had payments and salaries that exceeded the value of what we produced. Certainly, the crew that built the country house of the corrupt politician was not involved in the fraud. But the money that came from loans poured into the pockets of all, especially public sector employees and young retirees.
- There are two scenarios from now on: the bad one and the frightening one. There is no third. The frightening one is bankruptcy and going back to the 50s (without the hope of prosperity that inspired that generation at that time). The bad one, which is in our power to make last as little as possible, is the following.
- Our remuneration must reflect the true productivity of our country, so we should accept its decline. This does not mean that our standard of living will fall to the same extent – the cost of Greek products will also fall. The standards of living will rise again with organization and hard work. But for some years, and it depends on us how many, we will forget the "easy life". We will have the opportunity to discover the values of the simple life that were long forgotten due to our overconsumption. Our lifestyle will simply have to change.
- A three-year grace period will be given for mortgage loans, until the economy recovers. Then, some may be converted to low interest and low monthly payment long-term loans with a period that may exceed the life expectancy of borrowers. So part of the loan will be transferred to the heirs of the borrowers. The children of the borrowers will pay part of the value of the house they inherited. Nothing is forgiven, nothing is lost. Forgiveness implies that the cost will be paid by someone else (the shareholders of the Bank, the businessman that cannot get a loan due to insufficient capital, pension funds, etc.).
- Productivity improvement means that at least 500,000 people will have to change their profession. This includes public sector and private enterprises, as well as many professions that flourish in a period of false economic growth: media, lifestyle luxury items, consultants, advertisers, etc. What will all these people do? Everyone will find his way. The state we plan will help its citizens with low-interest loans and tax incentives. There are many promising areas with bright prospects: green energy, dynamic farming, fish farms, wineries, tourism, hospitality of foreign European old-age couples, medicine, technology, medical services etc. The development will come from them rather than government subsidies.
- The protesters argue "We want jobs, not unemployment." The job, however, does not fall from the sky- it is offered by employers. Labor market flexibility is essential to combat unemployment. The National Labor Agreement is maintained. Beyond that, each employee, depending on his/her abilities and availability will make an individual contract with his/her employer. There is no greater Fascism than to compulsory assimilate disparate things.
Therefore, development will start (immediately) if the following things are done simultaneously:
- A new tax law of no more than 30 pages (which will not be changed for at least ten years), with tax rates competitive with our neighbors (Cyprus, Bulgaria, Turkey)
- Information technology implemented across the public administration to streamline bureaucracy
- The Public Sector will need to radically modernise its ways and cleanse itself from corruption, incompetence and inefficiency. This has to be combined with a drastic reduction of public sector
- Draconian penalties for tax evasion – it will become a criminal offense just as under the U.S. model.
- Complete transparency for every Euro spent by the State. Posting on the Internet, in real time, of all expenditures by all public bodies
The solution to combat tax evasion is - across the western world - a combination of three things: reasonable rates, severe penalties and catching the offenders. Do not forget that throughout the history of man the rational tax is 10% of the income (the tithe). It was only increased in times of problems or corrupt government. For example, reputable doctors, who are presumably great scientists, that have devoted much time to their education, and can operate for hours to save a human life, should not have the "state" as a partner forever. The tax-paying obligation of a person must be reasonable and have an upper limit.
- The state budget must (by constitutional provision) have a surplus of 1%. The amount of 1% will build up a reserve to be used in emergencies (eg natural disasters, fires). Its disposal should be vote of 2 / 3 of the House of Parliament.
- All taxes concerning real estate will be abolished by constitutional commitment and replaced by one permanent tax that will be paid to municipalities.
- All income will be taxed equally. Tax evasion or special taxation arrangements will be abolished
- Elimination of the, unique in Europe, Standard Chart of Accounts (18.000 pages!) and have the tax details of all businesses on line with the Ministry of Finance.
- Constitutional prohibition of tax amnesty.
- Replace subsidies with tax breaks for new investments, new businesses and new entrepreneurs.
- Full computerization of government records. The citizen is equipped with an electronic card which contains all personal information and is used in all contacts with the state.
- The State is obliged to pay its suppliers within 60 days from the issuance of vouchers. If there is delay, the payment will include an interest of 1% per month (the same interest levied by the state from citizens).
- Opening up of all occupations. Anyone who has the qualifications prescribed by law can exercise any occupation.