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New jobs and prosperity or statics and misery?

Friday, 5 July 2019, 09:31

Ypsilantis Tzouros


We live in a country full of sun and sea. Greek hospitality is famous all over the world, even since antiquity, since the ancients  they considered it a moral duty and a sacred rule of the gods (the patron is Xenios Zeus), for this reason the foreigners, as sent by the gods, were considered holy, honored and respected persons.

In modern times, Greece welcomes 25 to 30 million tourists a year, especially during the summer months. The foreigners leave having very good impressions of our level of hospitality. We Greeks are people of the world, this fact is deeply rooted in us.

In a country with the characteristics of our own, is it possible to be constantly in gloom and stress?

And yet, although the Greeks are a hospitable people and open to the rest of the world, the  Greek economy is basically an introverted economy and the Greeks are among the most unhappy citizens in the world.

It is impressive. We are extroverted as people, but introverted as businessmen and unhappy as citizens.

Specifically, out of the approximately 700,000 companies in the country, only 17,730 export, ie 2.5% of their total, while only 100 companies make 50% of these exports. In fact, most companies export to relatively nearby destinations, such as the Balkans, or 'affordable destinations' such as Turkey and Cyprus.

At the same time, according to the UN World Happiness Report, Greeks are the most unhappy citizens in the Eurozone, something that is directly related to our expectations in relation to the present, but more importantly their future.

The two facts are not 100% certain to be related, but it is clear that if the expectations we have in relation to our present and future, but also our general level of well-being, improve, we will become happier. After all, prosperity is related to our ability to create, but also to enjoy goods and services.

In order to do this, it is obvious that we need to become more extroverted when we try, but also to learn to try in general. In this way we will increase our income, but at the same time we will bring more money to the country, supporting the prosperity not only of ourselves, but also of society as a whole.

In other words, we must stop being afraid and believe in ourselves. But obviously this will not happen by itself, nor will it happen automatically.

How do we achieve something that has not been done for decades now?

First, we need to support small businesses and connect them with scientists. The children who went abroad, the children of BrainDrain are mainly market executives.

A targeted funding from the NSRF to make the cooperation between scientists and small or medium enterprises easier, will bring back some young people in the country, while at the same time it will make our companies more competitive.

Also, the state must create structures to support entrepreneurship throughout Greece. We must learn to try. The misery does not stop unless we decide to act.

So instead of bonuses, entrepreneurship incentives.

And most importantly. The context of the second opportunity must change. People need to stop being afraid to try. In Greece, if one of our businesses fails, we consider that everything is over.

And yet, in America, its President himself, failed in his businesses, but continued his business activity, succeeding in others.

Fear makes us unhappy, the mentality of inaction traps us in static.

Ultimately, accepting that we are not superhumans, learning to work together and understanding how we can fail is enough to really try to claim a better place in the world.

And the Greeks, whenever they believed in themselves and tried, they achieved miracles.  


* Ypsilantis Tzouros, Economist, Business Consultant


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