Greece

   

Executive Capacity

#37
Key Findings
Strongly constrained by bailout commitments, Greece falls into the bottom ranks internationally (rank 37) with respect to executive capacity. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.4 points relative to 2014.

Strategic planning has been guided by international MOU commitments. The PMO is the primary gatekeeping body, but the Ministry of Finance plays a key role on financial issues, while a small informal advisory circle around the prime minister is primarily responsible for formulating cabinet proposals. Coordination and monitoring of ministries has been improved.

RIAs are not systematically performed. Government communication is improving, but contradictions and incoherencies persist. Subnational governments, a partial source of previously lax spending discipline, have been put under tighter control, in some cases involving unfunded mandates.

Significant structural reforms have been passed by successive governments. Privatization targets have been repeatedly revised downward, but policies such as pension cuts and a civil-servant pay review have been implemented after international pressure. Some questions remain as to whether adaptation and consolidation will continue following the end of loan conditionalities.

Strategic Capacity

#27

How much influence do strategic planning units and bodies have on government decision-making?

10
 9

Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions, and they exercise strong influence on government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Their influence on government decision-making is systematic but limited in issue scope or depth of impact.
 5
 4
 3


Strategic planning units and bodies take a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions. Occasionally, they exert some influence on government decision-making.
 2
 1

In practice, there are no units and bodies taking a long-term view of policy challenges and viable solutions.
Strategic Planning
4
Strategic planning has long proved difficult for the central government in Athens. Government has often suffered from an archipelago-like quality, with conflicting political interests, clientelism and a highly formalistic administrative culture serving to enhance segmentation. Weak horizontal coordination within and among ministries, government agencies and state-owned companies make matters worse.

After the change in government in 2015, fewer experts and academics were included in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Prime Minister Tsipras trusted the left-wing party cadres of Syriza with whom he had worked to bring his party to power, and far left-wing academics who had an abstract understanding of government and policy issues in Greece and little, if any, familiarity with the European Union. After the debacle of the July 2015 referendum, Tsipras revised his policies and adopted more austerity policies, more or less in the line with previous governments. This time, Tsipras subscribed to the strategic planning produced by Greece’s lenders.

Strategic planning was included, at least for the period 2015 – 2018, in the Third Memorandum of Understanding, signed between Greece and its creditors. Progress was noted on completion of the Second Review. For example, an Independent Authority of Public Revenue was established and the authorities made progress in adopting a General Transport Master Plan, covering all transport modes (road, railways, maritime, air and multi-modal), including logistical aspects.

However, this requisite strategic planning did not hold in policy areas which the memorandum did not cover in a binding manner, such as public order, education, culture and sports policy. In these policy areas, instead of strategic planning, there is still a lot of experimentation and improvisation on the part of the government.

Citations:
European Commission, Compliance Report. The Third Economic Adjustment Programme for Greece. Second Review, June 2017 (https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info/files/compliance_report-to_ewg_2017_06_21.pdf)

How influential are non-governmental academic experts for government decisionmaking?

10
 9

In almost all cases, the government transparently consults with a panel of non-governmental academic experts at an early stage of government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


For major political projects, the government transparently consults with a panel of non-governmental academic experts at an early stage of government decision-making.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government transparently consults with a panel of non-governmental academic experts at an early stage of government decision-making.
 2
 1

The government does not consult with non-governmental academic experts, or existing consultations lack transparency entirely and/or are exclusively pro forma.
Scholarly Advice
6
Non-governmental academic experts are consulted as advisers by the government. Most of the ad hoc committees formed by ministers on public policy reform are staffed by academic experts. Qualified academics often serve as experts across all sectors of the economy and administration, where they also act as administrative elites, which simply do not exist in Greece’s highly politicized civil service. Moreover, the size and quality of policy think tanks varies significantly, and often offers little alternative to ad persona advisory inputs.

However, in the period under review, the government regularly consulted young academics, based largely on ideological inclination and/or loyalty to Syriza leadership. The fact that they were well-meaning and committed to their advisory tasks did not compensate for their lack of familiarity with management or policymaking either in the public or private sector.

Interministerial Coordination

#30

Does the government office / prime minister’s office (GO / PMO) have the expertise to evaluate ministerial draft bills substantively?

10
 9

The GO / PMO has comprehensive sectoral policy expertise and provides regular, independent evaluations of draft bills for the cabinet / prime minister. These assessments are guided exclusively by the government’s strategic and budgetary priorities.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO has sectoral policy expertise and evaluates important draft bills.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO can rely on some sectoral policy expertise, but does not evaluate draft bills.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not have any sectoral policy expertise. Its role is limited to collecting, registering and circulating documents submitted for cabinet meetings.
GO Expertise
6
The center of government has traditionally struggled to coordinate and evaluate government legislation. As with previous governments, in the period under review, under the Syriza-ANEL government, draft legislation has rarely been subjected to substantive and systematic evaluation. In fact, ministers have often been able to insert last-minute amendments into legislation in order to favor selected interest groups, organizations or municipalities.

Under Syriza-ANEL there have been several offices and/or committees that have been entrusted with steering the individual ministers and government initiatives in sectoral policy. As was the case before 2015, a primary role is played by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). A second relevant organ, which collects, registers and circulates documents is the General Secretariat of Coordination of Governmental Tasks, which is also very close to the prime minister. Α third such organ is the Office of the Vice-President of the Government, which oversees policy in some crucial sectors such as public debt management. It is unclear if these organs, all of which are monitored more or less by the PMO have clearly demarcated areas of competences and sectoral expertise.

In fact, in the period under review, interministerial coordination was largely carried out by a small informal circle of government ministers and advisers to the prime minister who met daily. This was a practice common to previous governments as well.

Can the government office / prime minister’s office return items envisaged for the cabinet meeting on the basis of policy considerations?

10
 9

The GO/PMO can return all/most items on policy grounds.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO can return some items on policy grounds.
 5
 4
 3


The GO/PMO can return items on technical, formal grounds only.
 2
 1

The GO/PMO has no authority to return items.
GO Gatekeeping
8
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) can return all items on policy grounds, but the Syriza-ANEL government has created a rather complex set of posts of adviser and consulting organs surrounding the prime minister. The prime minister has the final word regarding what will be discussed in cabinet meetings. On different policy issues, the prime minister consults a small, informal circle of personal associates and governing party officials, meeting at the headquarters of the PMO almost daily. The small, informal circle includes three ministers without portfolio who assist the prime minister in governing. Owing to the relative increase in Prime Minister Tsipras’s credibility with Greece’s lenders after he agreed to implement the August 2015 adjustment program, his powers to return items envisaged for the cabinet meeting have increased. In general, it is the Ministry of Finance, along with the PMO, which plays the role of gatekeeper, as Greece’s finances are closely inspected by the country’s lenders. However, in the period under review, relations between the minister of finance and the prime minister was a matter of much speculation by the media.

To what extent do line ministries involve the government office/prime minister’s office in the preparation of policy proposals?

10
 9

There are inter-related capacities for coordination in the GO/PMO and line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO/PMO is regularly briefed on new developments affecting the preparation of policy proposals.
 5
 4
 3


Consultation is rather formal and focuses on technical and drafting issues.
 2
 1

Consultation occurs only after proposals are fully drafted as laws.
Line Ministries
6
Since the onset of the crisis in 2010, the PMO has gradually acquired more power and resources to supervise line ministries, the policies of which were streamlined to fit the fiscal consolidation effort of Greece.

However, during the period under review, the PMO’s coordination of line ministries was further enhanced, as Greece overcame the hurdle of the Second Review of its Economic Adjustment Program. Greece accomplished this task only in mid-2017, after long delays. The same tendency toward closer coordination of line ministries occurred in the second half of 2017, as the government began negotiations with representatives of Greece’s lenders on the Third Review of the Economic Adjustment Program. However, the PMO is not the only authority with which line ministries consult. In fact, as the implementation of the Third Economic Adjustment Program for Greece unfolds, line ministers often turn to the Ministry of Finance for technical and drafting issues, in case legislation under development in individual ministries runs into financial constraints imposed by its international lenders.

Citations:
Kevin Featherstone and Dimitris Papadimitriou (2013), “The Emperor Has No Clothes! Power and Resources within the Greek Core Executive,” Governance, Vol. 26, Issue 3, pp. 523-545.

How effectively do ministerial or cabinet committees coordinate cabinet proposals?

10
 9

The large majority of cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated first by committees.
 8
 7
 6


Most cabinet proposals are reviewed and coordinated by committees, in particular proposals of political or strategic importance.
 5
 4
 3


There is little review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees.
 2
 1

There is no review or coordination of cabinet proposals by committees. Or: There is no ministerial or cabinet committee.
Cabinet Committees
5
There are cabinet committees tasked with overseeing specific policy sectors. However, these committees meet only when a major policy decision has to be made and are not subject to systematic organization. Substantive policy work is done at the line ministries and by the PMO before issues are presented to the cabinet. A small, informal circle of advisers and ministers close to the prime minister, at the headquarters of the PMO, are primarily responsible for the formulation and coordination of cabinet proposals. Ministerial committees often perform a more symbolic function.

Α possible exception is the Council of Administrative Reform, which was established by the Syriza-ANEL government in November 2015. The council is composed of six major government ministers, including the minister of finance and the minister of economy and development, and is presided over by the prime minister. The scope of the council’s tasks is wider than its title indicates. It is a governmental organ that pursues the reform plans of the incumbent government that are outside the remit of Greece’s Third Economic Adjustment Program (e.g., social assistance, education and other policy sectors). Thus, in contrast to its first ten months in power (January – October 2015), the Syriza-ANEL government improved upon it coordination capacity in 2016 – 2017.

Citations:
Ιnformation on the new Council is available at the official site of the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction: http://www.minadmin.gov.gr/?p=12496

How effectively do ministry officials/civil servants coordinate policy proposals?

10
 9

Most policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 8
 7
 6


Many policy proposals are effectively coordinated by ministry officials/civil servants.
 5
 4
 3


There is some coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
 2
 1

There is no or hardly any coordination of policy proposals by ministry officials/civil servants.
Ministerial Bureaucracy
4
Greek bureaucracy is over-politicized and under-resourced. Political party cadres rather than civil servants coordinate policy proposals. Civil servants in line ministries often lack modern scientific and management skills. Policy proposals are usually assigned to ministerial adviser, who are short-term political appointees and can be non-academic experts, academics and governing party cadres. Top civil servants contribute to policy proposals by suggesting what is legally permissible and technically feasible, although even on those issues ministers often tend to trust their own legal and technical adviser. The remaining civil servants at lower levels of the bureaucratic hierarchy rarely, if ever, know of, let alone contribute to policy proposals. Moreover, there is little horizontal coordination among civil servants working in different ministries. Ministers assign the task of horizontal interministerial communication to their advisers.

Since Syriza’s rise to power in January 2015, in coalition with the ANEL party, the politicization of Greek bureaucracy has been further exacerbated. This pattern continued during the period under review. Governing party cadres are continuously appointed to ministerial and various advisory posts. However, under pressure from Greece’s lenders, the government attempted to re-organize senior civil servants. After a new law was passed by the Syriza-ANEL party in February 2016 and amended in 2016, the role of civil servants in formulating and coordinating policy proposals was supposed to be enhanced. However, in late 2017, the new law was only in the very first stages of implementation. More administrative reforms – in accordance with the Third Review of the Adjustment Program – are to be introduced including a very important one affecting permanent general secretaries and general directors of ministries with a five-year mandate.

Citations:
The new law on higher civil service is law 4369/2016.

How effectively do informal coordination mechanisms complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination?

10
 9

Informal coordination mechanisms generally support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


In most cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, informal coordination mechanisms support formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

Informal coordination mechanisms tend to undermine rather than complement formal mechanisms of interministerial coordination.
Informal Coordination
7
Most coordination mechanisms are informal and complement the more meager formal coordination mechanisms such as the infrequently convened cabinet and ministerial committees. Most informal mechanisms are ad hoc meetings among ministers convened at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO). Such meetings are followed up by person-to-person contacts between staff members of the PMO and advisers to ministers. In the period under review, informal coordination was frequent and was organized by close associates of Prime Minister Tsipras, such as ministers without portfolio, working at the PMO. Such ministers were assisted by several close associates of the prime minister, for example the General Secretary of the PMO and other Syriza party cadres who participated in daily briefings in the PMO. The Syriza-ANEL coalition government, after a long initial period during which various party officials around Prime Minister Tsipras experimented with reorganizing policymaking and government structures, has now settled into a more predictable pattern of informal coordination.

Evidence-based Instruments

#40

To what extent does the government assess the potential impacts of existing and prepared legal acts (regulatory impact assessments, RIA)?

10
 9

RIA are applied to all new regulations and to existing regulations which are characterized by complex impact paths. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 8
 7
 6


RIA are applied systematically to most new regulations. RIA methodology is guided by common minimum standards.
 5
 4
 3


RIA are applied in some cases. There is no common RIA methodology guaranteeing common minimum standards.
 2
 1

RIA are not applied or do not exist.
RIA Application
3
In 2006, under a different government, the PMO had issued a prime minister’s circular, requesting that all ministries start RIA in their policy field, but RIA in a systematic way has never actually been implemented. Today, all legislative drafts submitted to the parliament are accompanied by a document that outlines the rationale of the bill. Moreover, the General Accounting Office estimates the cost of the bill for the state budget. Indeed, some regulatory impact assessment for developing regulation is done at ministerial meetings but ex post evaluation of regulations is not done – with specific reports or documents submitted to the parliament and/or available to the public. However, the policy suggestions of Memorandum, OECD and World Bank reports increasingly influence government decisions, regulations and new legislation.

Does the RIA process ensure participation, transparency and quality evaluation?

10
 9

RIA analyses consistently involve stakeholders by means of consultation or collaboration, results are transparently communicated to the public and assessments are effectively evaluated by an independent body on a regular basis.
 8
 7
 6


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to one of the three objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The RIA process displays deficiencies with regard to two of the three objectives.
 2
 1

RIA analyses do not exist or the RIA process fails to achieve any of the three objectives of process quality.
Quality of RIA Process
2
Law 4048/2012 established the RIA framework. According to Article 7 “every bill, addition or amendment and every normative decision of major economic or social importance shall by accompanied by an impact assessment.” However, five years later, RIA analyses are rare and were not undertaken in the period under review.

Citations:
OECD Competition Assessment Reviews: Greece, 2014.

Does the government conduct effective sustainability checks within the framework of RIA?

10
 9

Sustainability checks are an integral part of every RIA; they draw on an exhaustive set of indicators (including social, economic, and environmental aspects of sustainability) and track impacts from the short- to long-term.
 8
 7
 6


Sustainability checks lack one of the three criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Sustainability checks lack two of the three criteria.
 2
 1

Sustainability checks do not exist or lack all three criteria.
Sustainability Check
1
Sustainability checks do not exist; this has been the case under the preceding and the incumbent government.

Societal Consultation

#39

To what extent does the government consult with societal actors to support its policy?

10
 9

The government successfully motivates societal actors to support its policy.
 8
 7
 6


The government facilitates the acceptance of its policy among societal actors.
 5
 4
 3


The government consults with societal actors.
 2
 1

The government rarely consults with any societal actors.
Negotiating Public Support
3
In the period under review, social consultation on policy decisions was limited because Greece was governed on the grounds of the detailed policy measures and conditionalities included in the Third Economic Adjustment Program. The program, signed between Greece’s lenders and the Greek government in July 2015, contained cuts to pension spending, and increased direct and indirect tax revenue. Such measures were at odds with what the Syriza and ANEL parties, the two partners of the coalition government, had promised voters before forming a coalition government. To compensate voters for the associated income losses, the government handed out one-off welfare benefits to pensioners in December 2016 and to the poorer strata in November 2017, without consulting the country’s creditors. On the other hand, the Syriza-ANEL government consulted with individual domestic and foreign businesses that the government hoped would invest in the mass media, real estate and tourism sectors.

Policy Communication

#39

To what extent does the government achieve coherent communication?

10
 9

The government effectively coordinates the communication of ministries; ministries closely align their communication with government strategy. Messages are factually coherent with the government’s plans.
 8
 7
 6


The government coordinates the communication of ministries. Contradictory statements are rare, but do occur. Messages are factually coherent with the government’s plans.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries are responsible for informing the public within their own particular areas of competence; their statements occasionally contradict each other. Messages are sometimes not factually coherent with the government’s plans.
 2
 1

Strategic communication planning does not exist; individual ministry statements regularly contradict each other. Messages are often not factually coherent with the government’s plans.
Coherent Communication
3
In the period under review, the incumbent government finally concluded the second review of the economic adjustment program with the country’s lenders. However, while Greece’s economy has stabilized and is no longer declining, strategic communication about the country’s prospects remains largely inarticulate and incoherent. The prime minister, the government’s spokesperson, the minister of finance and other ministers conveyed positive messages about future economic growth and the “exit of the Memoranda,” while at the same time businesses have closed down or left the country, and the flight of skilled labor (“brain drain”) continued. Nevertheless, the overall communication strategy has improved, reflecting the fact that Syriza trails far behind the largest opposition party (the center-right New Democracy) in all opinion polls. The government tried to divert attention from budget cuts and higher taxes by highlighting ideological and social issues of secondary importance, and emphasizing differences between “left” and “right” (e.g., minority rights, socioeconomic disparities and referencing the Greek civil war). This obscured and increased confusion about government plans and policies. However, the government communication strategy remained incoherent and defensive, and in specific policy sectors, such as taxation and education, the same minister or different ministers continued to publicly offer unclear and sometimes contradictory statements.

Implementation

#36

To what extent can the government achieve its own policy objectives?

10
 9

The government can largely implement its own policy objectives.
 8
 7
 6


The government is partly successful in implementing its policy objectives or can implement some of its policy objectives.
 5
 4
 3


The government partly fails to implement its objectives or fails to implement several policy objectives.
 2
 1

The government largely fails to implement its policy objectives.
Government Efficiency
5
Significant structural reforms have been legislated by successive Greek governments in the last seven years, but their mix and implementation were, and continue to be, uneven. Greece has implemented important labor market reforms, but progress has been less on reducing oligopoly power, reducing the regulatory burden and promoting reform in the public administration.

Policy implementation efforts have been problematic throughout the period under review as in previous periods. Examples of a lingering implementation gap include the problems still encountered by young entrepreneurs and professionals when it comes to establishing and operating a new business. The same can be claimed with regard to privatization of state-owned property, though the government seemed more willing to accept foreign investment.
Privatization targets have been repeatedly revised downwards. The country raised €500 million from asset sales in 2016, missing its bailout target by about €2 billion, mainly due to delays in completing the lease of 14 airports to a consortium led by Germany’s Fraport. Two of Greece’s biggest projects – the former Hellenicon Airport and the Eldorado Gold, together valued at about €11 billion ($12.8 billion) – have stalled on bureaucratic and legal wranglings, raising questions about the country’s ability to attract the investment desperately required for economic recovery.

On the other hand, there were other government decisions, such as pension cuts and performance-based review of civil servants’ pay, which were implemented. The implementation of such cases was due to the pressure exerted on the government by Greece’s lenders, based on the Third Economic Adjustment Program which linked policy implementation with delivery of loans to Greece.

To what extent does the organization of government provide incentives to ensure that ministers implement the government’s program?

10
 9

The organization of government successfully provides strong incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 8
 7
 6


The organization of government provides some incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 5
 4
 3


The organization of government provides weak incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
 2
 1

The organization of government does not provide any incentives for ministers to implement the government’s program.
Ministerial Compliance
6
In the period under review, foreign assistance funds continued to be channeled to Greece under strict conditionalities. Incentives for ministers to implement policies were probably the negative sanctions, such as their replacement by Prime Minister Tsipras, which they would face if they further burdened the already problematic fiscal situation of the Greek state. Thus, ministers had more incentives, in fact, externally imposed constraints, to implement the government’s plans directly linked to Greece’s economic recovery. In non-economic policy sectors, however, the situation was different, as Greek policies in such sectors were not as closely monitored by the country’s lenders. Certain ministers, such as the minister of culture or the minister of education, had no incentive to follow the abrupt shift toward austerity which Syriza had made in the summer of 2015, after failing on its pre-electoral promise to undo austerity. Such ministers pursued Syriza’s pre-electoral radical left-wing program and in some instances tried various untested ideas or plans of their own, such as proposing radical changes to university entrance examinations and then completely dropping this education policy shift.

How effectively does the government office/prime minister’s office monitor line ministry activities with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The GO / PMO effectively monitors the implementation activities of all line ministries.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of most line ministries.
 5
 4
 3


The GO / PMO monitors the implementation activities of some line ministries.
 2
 1

The GO / PMO does not monitor the implementation activities of line ministries.
Monitoring Ministries
7
The lax monitoring of line ministries by the PMO characteristic of previous review periods has been addressed. This was due to the fact that the PMO understood that Greece was still dependent on funds flowing into the Greek economy from the country’s lenders. Thus, the PMO monitored the implementation activities of most line ministries. A possible exception were certain line ministries, such as the Ministry of Education or the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, that are responsible for policy sectors outside the core of conditionalities linked to the Third Economic Adjustment Program.

How effectively do federal and subnational ministries monitor the activities of bureaucracies and executive agencies with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The ministries effectively monitor the implementation activities of all bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 8
 7
 6


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of most bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 5
 4
 3


The ministries monitor the implementation activities of some bureaucracies/executive agencies.
 2
 1

The ministries do not monitor the implementation activities of bureaucracies/executive agencies.
Monitoring Agencies, Bureaucracies
8
In Greece, most ministries supervise dozens of executive agencies. For instance, the Ministry of Transport supervises the state-owned public transport companies in Athens and Thessaloniki, the Ministry of Health supervises all public hospitals, and the Ministry of Finance supervises numerous state-owned enterprises. In the period under review, the government realized that any fiscal derailment of supervised state agencies would endanger the progress attained in implementing the Third Economic Adjustment Program, which was under close review by the country’s lenders. Thus, there was a tightening of the relevant monitoring performed by ministries’ executive agencies. However, in some cases, public administration deficiencies and a lack of reliable data undermined monitoring and evaluation efforts.

To what extent does the central government ensure that tasks delegated to subnational self-governments are adequately funded?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to fulfill all their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 8
 7
 6


The central government enables subnational governments to fulfill most of their delegated tasks by funding these tasks sufficiently and/or by providing adequate revenue-raising powers.
 5
 4
 3


The central government sometimes and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational governments.
 2
 1

The central government often and deliberately shifts unfunded mandates to subnational self-governments.
Task Funding
3
After the onset of the economic crisis in 2010, it was revealed that subnational authorities, working on a “soft-budget” mentality, had contributed to the fiscal derailment of the Greek state through lax control of their own expenditure and hiring of excessive personnel in municipal agencies. Since then, such practices have been curtailed, while the government has imposed strict control over local government expenditure to the point of depriving subnational authorities of necessary resources. For the central government, functioning within the constraints of the Third Economic Adjustment Program, achieving a large budget surplus was and still is a major priority. At the same time, it is not possible to roll back the long-term process of transferring competences to subnational authorities which had started before the crisis. Thus, it is not uncommon to encounter unfunded mandates.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments may use their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation?

10
 9

The central government enables subnational self-governments to make full use of their constitutional scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 8
 7
 6


Central government policies inadvertently limit the subnational self-governments’ scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 5
 4
 3


The central government formally respects the constitutional autonomy of subnational self-governments, but de facto narrows their scope of discretion with regard to implementation.
 2
 1

The central government deliberately precludes subnational self-governments from making use of their constitutionally provided implementation autonomy.
Constitutional Discretion
2
While the autonomy of subnational self-governments is nominally guaranteed by the constitution – which requires that the government provides them with all legislative, regulatory and financial means to accomplish their tasks – in practice, subnational self-governments have few financial means at their disposal. Since the crisis began, successive governments narrowed the scope of fiscal discretion of subnational self-governments because the state’s finances have been on the brink of collapse and the country has relied on external support from Greece’s lenders. However, in legal and administrative terms, the responsibilities of subnational governments has not been reduced. Between 2015 and 2016, at least three municipalities, two in the Greater Athens area and one in Crete, officially declared bankruptcy and the government rescued them financially.

Citations:
Article 102 of the constitution provides for the autonomy of subnational governments.

To what extent does central government ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services?

10
 9

Central government effectively ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 8
 7
 6


Central government largely ensures that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
 5
 4
 3


Central government ensures that subnational self-governments realize national minimum standards of public services.
 2
 1

Central government does not ensure that subnational self-governments realize national standards of public services.
National Standards
3
In the period under review, there was some improvement in the implementation of national standards. It was realized by the incumbent government that non-implementation of such standards could put the state’s finances in danger, particularly since subnational self-governments are heavily dependent on the central government for their finances.

Adaptability

#35

To what extent does the government respond to international and supranational developments by adapting domestic government structures?

10
 9

The government has appropriately and effectively adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 8
 7
 6


In many cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational developments.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government has adapted domestic government structures to international and supranational.
 2
 1

The government has not adapted domestic government structures no matter how useful adaptation might be.
Domestic Adaptability
6
No other country surveyed by the SGI has been subject to such intense or extensive scrutiny as Greece has under the Troika and the EU Task Force, which since 2015 has been replaced by the European Union’s Structural Reform Support Service (SRSS). Loan conditionality has obliged the country to respond to an external agenda.

During the period under review, the Greek government passed legislation on public administration, as the government wants to steer Greece out of the seven-year long economic adjustment program that is monitored by the country’s lenders. For example, in the spring and summer of 2017, the government pressed for changes in the organization of ministries and in autumn 2017 was able to subject Greek civil servants to a first performance-based review. The government has increased the speed with which the domestic adaptation to external pressures for reform occurred, in the view of the fact that 2017 was the prior-to-last year in which the Third Economic Adjustment Program was supposed to be implemented. In August 2018, Greece is scheduled to exit this program and from then on it is uncertain whether the country will continue adapting domestic government structures to external demands and supranational developments.

To what extent is the government able to collaborate effectively in international efforts to foster global public goods?

10
 9

The government can take a leading role in shaping and implementing collective efforts to provide global public goods. It is able to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
 8
 7
 6


The government is largely able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Existing processes enabling the government to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress are, for the most part, effective.
 5
 4
 3


The government is partially able to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. Processes designed to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress show deficiencies.
 2
 1

The government does not have sufficient institutional capacities to shape and implement collective efforts to provide global public goods. It does not have effective processes to ensure coherence in national policies affecting progress.
International Coordination
4
Greece, through its membership in the euro zone and through EU summits and meetings of ministers, has participated in international efforts to foster the provision of public goods. For instance, Greece has been vocal at international forums in pressuring for a global response to migration issues, emphasizing that migration from the developing world into Europe is not solely a Greek problem arising from its geographical position between Europe and Asia. However, given its own severe economic crisis, Greece has been unable to develop institutional capacities beyond its role as an EU member state in fostering the provision of public goods nor has it been able to devote resources to ensure that its own policies are in line with international policies.

Organizational Reform

#20

To what extent do actors within the government monitor whether institutional arrangements of governing are appropriate?

10
 9

The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly and effectively.
 8
 7
 6


The institutional arrangements of governing are monitored regularly.
 5
 4
 3


The institutional arrangements of governing are selectively and sporadically monitored.
 2
 1

There is no monitoring.
Self-monitoring
6
Ιn the period under review, the monitoring of institutional governance arrangements were improved. For example, after long delays, new arrangements in state-funded pension schemes were put in place. Many different, previously autonomous, pension funds were merged and their management was centralized under a new national social insurance organization (EFKA). A performance-based evaluation of civil servants was also carried out for the first time in Greece. The monitoring of such arrangements was done from the top, namely either the office of the head of the government or the office of the minister responsible for a new institutional arrangement. However, though other mechanisms for monitoring government were available, such as competent parliamentary committees and interministerial committees, these were mostly marginalized by the incumbent government, as has been the case with previous governments.

To what extent does the government improve its strategic capacity by changing the institutional arrangements of governing?

10
 9

The government improves its strategic capacity considerably by changing its institutional arrangements.
 8
 7
 6


The government improves its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 5
 4
 3


The government does not improve its strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
 2
 1

The government loses strategic capacity by changing its institutional arrangements.
Institutional Reform
6
The Syriza-ANEL government tried to enhance its strategic capacity in several ways. Prime Minister Tsipras has appointed three ministers without portfolio to assist him in carrying out his tasks and plan reforms. In addition, Tsipras has assigned some sensitive strategic tasks to Deputy Prime Minister Yannis Dragasakis and his team, such as plans for restructuring the Greek public debt. Meanwhile, the Council of Administrative Reform continued its operation to oversee reforms in various policy sectors. The Hellenic Fiscal Council, an independent agency (an obligation under the Second Memorandum), started operation in the period under review, monitoring state finances.
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