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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Recipe for Greece’s regrowth

- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 21, 2011

As Greece's economic demise is accelerated by the haute, illiberal economic policies of the rulers of the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, the quest for reason has never been greater ("Paris, Berlin plot course for Greek debt crisis," World, Thursday).

As prisoners of the faux economic dogma of the left, these institutions have a blind fear and resistance to the true laws of socioeconomic behavior. Bent on the notion that rigid labor laws protect the workforce and that high taxes mean higher revenue, their confused policies are a lethal brew of obstinate insistence on their populism and austerity spending without addressing the real drivers of growth and the swollen public sector, bloated by this illicit utopian dream.

Opposition leader Antonis Samaras has had the bravery and common sense to call out this drivel for what it is, and this has had the expected hysterical and mindless reaction from the architects of this policy.

But Mr. Samaras is right. For Greece to restore its economic dignity, it must attack the heart of the problem. First, taxes should be cut - not increased - and cut radically. Second, the rigid labor laws and attendant payroll taxes must be slashed.

These two moves will restore confidence and hope to the moribund private sector. Further, the genie of the left, government centralization, an acknowledged, perpetual failure everywhere it is tried, must be unwound. Privatization and a reduction of a workforce that is inefficient must be an immediate priority. The deconstruction of this "heresy" is the truth Mr. Samaras is forcing the rulers to face.

Greece will never pay back its debt at face value. This policy change would be the best chance to put the country back on a path of growth and allow it to unwind the result of the profligate sins of the past.

ROBERT F. AGOSTINELLI

London

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