Greece

   

Executive Capacity

#38
Key Findings
Despite its emergence from a period of bailout-related conditionalities, Greece falls into the bottom ranks internationally (rank 38) with respect to executive capacity. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.1 point as compared to 2014.

Recent strategic planning has been guided by international commitments. Under the Syriza-ANEL government, strategic decisions and cabinet proposals were formulated by a small circle around the prime minister. There has been little formal coordination of policy across ministries, but informal coordination has played an increasingly significant role.

RIAs are not systematically performed, and the short tenure of ministers has made ex post evaluation rare. Communication strategy has become more incoherent over time. Ministerial compliance has been strong on issues relevant to the bailout, as they have been monitored by lenders, but other sectors have seen ministers seek to implement untested ideas of their own.

Significant structural reforms have been passed by successive governments. Recent efforts to encourage private-sector investment proved largely fruitless outside the tourism sector, and bureaucratic delays have stalled privatization. Regulatory enforcement has long been influenced by powerful interest groups and businesspeople.

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 thanks in large part to the archipelago-like character of governance involving conflicting political interests, clientelism and a highly formalistic administrative culture that fosters segmentation. Weak horizontal coordination within and among ministries, government agencies and state-owned companies make matters worse.

Strategic planning was included, at least for the period from 2015 to 2018, in the Third Memorandum of Understanding signed between Greece and its creditors. Progress was noted in August 2018 upon completion of this memorandum. For example, the Independent Public Revenue Authority was established and the authorities made progress in adopting a General Transport Master Plan, covering all transport modes (i.e., road, railway, maritime, air and multi-modal), including logistical aspects. This requisite strategic planning, however, did not hold in policy areas not covered in a binding manner by the memorandum, such as public order, education, culture and sports. In these policy areas, instead of strategic planning, there remains much experimentation and improvisation on the part of the government.

In early 2018, the government released a post-bailout development strategy (entitled “Greece: A Growth Strategy for the Future”). The strategy was revised twice by the European Commission before its public presentation and is divided into five chapters: Fiscal Viability, Sustainable Development, Structural Conditions for Growth, Just Development Without Exclusion, and Funding of Development. The strategy has been criticized by the opposition as more of a wish list than an integrated plan for the country to regain its footing. According to the document, the monitoring and assessment of the strategy “will be conducted by a high-level political committee under the prime minister’s control” while at the technical level the monitoring of reforms will be undertaken by the General Secretariat for Coordination.

Citations:
A brief official description of the Third Economic Adjustment Program for Greece, up to August 2018, is available by the Council of the European Union, at https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/policies/financial-assistance-eurozone-members/greece-programme/

Greece: A Growth Strategy for the Future http://www.mindev.gov.gr/greece-a-growth-strategy-for-the-future/

Does the government regularly take into account advice from non-governmental experts during decision-making?

10
 9

In almost all cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 8
 7
 6


For major political projects, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 5
 4
 3


In some cases, the government transparently consults with non-governmental experts in the early stages of government decision-making.
 2
 1

The government does not consult with non-governmental experts, or existing consultations lack transparency entirely and/or are exclusively pro forma.
Expert 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 reforms 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 thinktanks vary significantly and they often offer little alternative to ad persona advisory inputs.

In the period under review, as in the past, the government regularly consulted experts or academics selected primarily because of their loyalty to Syriza or ANEL (the two government coalition partners). The fact that the selected experts were committed to their advisory tasks did not compensate for their frequent lack of familiarity with management or policymaking.

Interministerial Coordination

#34

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

10
 9

The GO / PMO provides regular, independent evaluations of draft bills for the cabinet / prime minister. These assessments are guided exclusively by the government’s priorities.
 8
 7
 6


The GO / PMO evaluates most draft bills according to the government’s priorities.
 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 add last-minute amendments to draft legislation in order to favor selected interest groups, organizations, or municipalities in their own electoral district or former colleagues of the minister.

Under Syriza-ANEL, there have been several offices and government ministers that have been entrusted with steering 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. Individual ministers without a portfolio are periodically given one-off tasks which demand the collection and evaluation of policy expertise. It is unclear if these organs and ministers have clearly demarcated areas of competences and sectoral expertise. In the period under review, as in the past, interministerial coordination was largely carried out by a small informal circle of ministers and advisers who met daily at the seat of the prime minister.

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 between 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 completed the requirements of the Third Economic Adjustment Program (2015 – 2018), which officially ended in August 2018. However, the PMO was not the only authority with which line ministries consulted. In fact, as the implementation of the Third Economic Adjustment Program for Greece unfolded, line ministers often turned to the Ministry of Finance for technical and drafting guidance in cases where legislation in development within individual ministries ran into financial constraints imposed by Greece’s creditors.

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 vast 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. During the period under review, the government was running behind schedule on completing the Third Economic Adjustment Program for Greece. In other words, this was a period which hardly allowed for the smooth review of cabinet proposals by committees.

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 advisers, 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 advisers. 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.

In the period under review, such trends were exacerbated, though officially the government may have intended otherwise. Pressed by the country’s creditors, the government began implementing a new law (passed in 2016) which should have enhanced the role of civil servants when formulating and coordinating policy proposals. The senior civil service was supposed to be staffed by personnel selected based on meritocratic standards (e.g., new appointments were scheduled to be made to the rank of general directors of ministries). The selection process took over a year to complete and was heavily disputed. In practice, little progress was made as the government preferred to turn to its own political appointees for the preparation and coordination of policy proposals.

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
8
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 review period, under pressure to complete the Third Economic Adjustment Program for Greece, informal coordination was frequent and organized by close associates of Prime Minister Tsipras (e.g., ministers without a portfolio) working at the PMO. Since the last cabinet reshuffle of August 2018, there are at least three ministers who are given such successive informal coordination roles. Overall, the trend of informal coordination has increased over time.

How extensively and effectively are digital technologies used to support interministerial coordination (in policy development and monitoring)?

10
 9

The government uses digital technologies extensively and effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 8
 7
 6


The government uses digital technologies in most cases and somewhat effectively to support interministerial coordination.
 5
 4
 3


The government uses digital technologies to a lesser degree and with limited effects to support interministerial coordination.
 2
 1

The government makes no substantial use of digital technologies to support interministerial coordination.
Digitalization for Interministerial C.
4
In Greece, there is little formal coordination of policies across and within ministries. Thus, it is difficult to envisage the digitalization of interministerial coordination. To the extent that such coordination takes place, it is not horizontal, but vertical – flowing from the PMO to line ministries through the political appointees and personal secretaries of the ministers. Policy coordination exists only with regard to the implementation of a few transversal policies, such as public procurement. The latter is now effected through a national system of public procurement (EAADHSY). This system functions through an appropriately developed digital platform for tenders and applications from suppliers of goods and services interested in serving the public sector.

Citations:
The digital platform for public procurement, covering all ministries and agencies of the public sector, is available at http://www.eaadhsy.gr/

Evidence-based Instruments

#41

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
2
In 2006, under a previous government, the PMO issued a prime minister’s circular requesting that all ministries utilize RIA, but RIA has never actually been implemented in a systematic way. Today, all legislative drafts submitted to the parliament are accompanied by a document that outlines the rationale for the bill.

However, this is not a typical RIA. The General Accounting Office estimates the cost of the bill for the state budget, if the competent minister provides the office with adequate data (which is rarely the case). Even in RIA processes for developing primary laws initiated by the executive, Greece scores well below the OECD average.

A sort of regulatory impact assessment for developing regulation is sometimes completed at ministerial meetings, but regulations in Greece increasingly do not rely on such assessments. Rather, regulations result from short-term, mostly patronage-ridden political calculations.

Citations:
OECD Government at a Glance 2017 http://www.oecd.org/gov/govataglance.htm

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, no RIA was undertaken since the law was passed.

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 was the case under the preceding and remains the case under the incumbent government.

To what extent do government ministries regularly evaluate the effectiveness and/or efficiency of public policies and use results of evaluations for the revision of existing policies or development of new policies?

10
 9

Ex post evaluations are carried out for all significant policies and are generally used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 8
 7
 6


Ex post evaluations are carried out for most significant policies and are used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 5
 4
 3


Ex post evaluations are rarely carried out for significant policies and are rarely used for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
 2
 1

Ex post evaluations are generally not carried out and do not play any relevant role for the revision of existing policies or the development of new policies.
Quality of Ex Post Evaluation
2
Ex-post evaluation is not a usual part of the policy cycle in Greece. There is frequent turnover among the ministers. It is rare that a minister stays in office long enough to evaluate a measure he or she adopted. After government reshuffles and certainly after a change in government, incoming ministers rarely are interested in evaluating the policies pursued by their predecessors. Notwithstanding, there are in the public administration and central headquarters of ministries, higher-ranking civil servants who could perform such evaluations if asked to do so. The potential is there, but it is rarely used. There are, however, cases when the Greek government asked international organizations (e.g., the OECD) or thinktanks to evaluate policy impacts. The Syriza-ANEL government was rather reluctant to ask for external advice.

Societal Consultation

#37

Does the government consult with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner?

10
 9

The government always consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 8
 7
 6


The government in most cases consults with societal actors in a fair and pluralistic manner.
 5
 4
 3


The government does consult with societal actors, but mostly in an unfair and clientelistic manner.
 2
 1

The government rarely consults with any societal actors.
Public Consultation
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 with either domestic social partners or 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 country’s media, real estate, and tourism sectors. Ultimately, very few investors tried their hand in any sectors other than tourism.

Policy Communication

#41

To what extent does the government achieve coherent communication?

10
 9

Ministries are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 8
 7
 6


Ministries most of the time are highly successful in aligning their communication with government strategy.
 5
 4
 3


Ministries occasionally issue public statements that contradict the public communication of other ministries or the government strategy.
 2
 1

Strategic communication planning does not exist; individual ministry statements regularly contradict each other. Messages are often not factually consistent with the government’s strategy.
Coherent Communication
2
In August 2018, the Third Economic Adjustment Program for Greece (the Third Memorandum, 2015 – 2018) was completed. The incumbent government considered the program’s completion a successful final “exit of the Memoranda,” though it had consented to a continuation of periodic performance reviews of the Greek economy in June 2018 (i.e., site visits by IMF and European Commission representatives every three months). While Greece’s economy stagnated in the period under review, the prime minister, the government’s spokesperson, the minister of finance and other ministers conveyed positive messages about future economic growth. Notwithstanding, private foreign investment is not forthcoming, businesses continue to close down or leave the country, and the flight of skilled labor (“brain drain”) continues. The government has tried to divert attention from the economic stagnation by highlighting the decline in the unemployment rate and by emphasizing ideological differences between “left” and “right.” For instance, the government has labeled the policy program of the New Democracy party, which has been leading in polls for more than a year, a return to neo-liberal austerity and has associated the party with the far right. There is little coherence in this communication strategy since the Syriza party has been governing in a coalition with the small ultra-nationalist, right-wing party ANEL since 2015 and has subscribed to and implemented all austerity measures envisaged in the aforementioned Third Memorandum. Overall, the government’s communication strategy has become incoherent over time, focusing on short-term squabbles with the opposition rather than articulating what Greece’s prospects are for the future.

Implementation

#37

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 Effectiveness
5
Significant structural reforms have been legislated by successive Greek governments in the last eight 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 challenges still faced by young entrepreneurs and professionals establishing and operating a new business, given frequent and unpredictable changes in taxation. The same holds with regard to the privatization of state-owned property, though the government, officially at least, appeared more willing to accept foreign investment. Although the lease of 14 airports to a consortium led by Germany’s Fraport was finally completed in the period under review, two of Greece’s biggest projects – the real estate investment project on land of the former Hellenikon International Airport (in a suburb southwest of Athens) and the Eldorado Gold company’s investment in mining operations (in northern Greece), together valued at about €11 billion ($12.8 billion) – continued to stall because of bureaucratic and legal wrangling. In fact, Eldorado Gold’s investment has been suspended by the investors and they have filed a non-judicial request for payment of approximately €750 million with the Hellenic Republic, citing the Greek government’s continuous delays. All this raises 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 a performance-based review of civil servants’ pay, which were implemented. The implementation of such measures was owed to continuous 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 between 2015 and 2018.

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

10
 9

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


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


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

The organization of government does not provide any mechanisms for ministers to implement the government’s program.
Ministerial Compliance
5
In the period under review, foreign concessionary loans 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. Ιndeed, a cabinet reshuffle occurred in August 2018. Thus, ministers had more incentives, in fact, externally imposed constraints, to implement the government’s plans directly linked to Greece’s economic recovery. Beyond economic policy-related sectors, however, the situation was different, as Greek policies in these sectors were not as closely monitored by the country’s lenders. In these policy sectors, government ministers pursued Syriza’s pre-electoral left-wing program and in some instances tried various untested ideas or plans of their own. One example was the minister of education, who announced radical changes to university entrance examinations and subsequently completely dropped what would have been a major policy shift. An extreme case was that of the minister of defense (leader of the ANEL party, the coalition partner of Syriza), who pursued his own foreign policy, often at odds with the minister of foreign affairs. This situation reached a climax in October 2018 when the minister of foreign policy resigned in protest.

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/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. During 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. However, in some cases, public administration deficiencies and a lack of reliable data undermined monitoring and evaluation efforts. Moreover, in cases such as Greece’s public broadcaster (ERT), where the government’s political appointees clashed with pro-government trade union activists over control, a general decay ensued.

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 (2015 – 2018), achieving a large budget surplus was and still is a major priority. After the end of the bailout program, it may become more possible to return to the long-term process of transferring competences to subnational authorities which had started before the crisis.

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.

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.

To what extent is government enforcing regulations in an effective and unbiased way, also against vested interests?

10
 9

Government agencies enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 8
 7
 6


Government agencies, for the most part, enforce regulations effectively and without bias.
 5
 4
 3


Government agencies enforce regulations, but ineffectively and with bias.
 2
 1

Government agencies enforce regulations ineffectively, inconsistently and with bias.
Regulatory Enforcement
3
In Greece, it is difficult to argue that enforcement of regulations is effective. On the one hand, enforcement does indeed depend on the technical capacities and propensities of Greek governments to employ pro-government individuals rather than skilled managers to head government agencies. In turn, this has dampened efficient and unbiased enforcement. Owing to pressure from Greece’s lenders, who have linked the country’s fiscal derailment to maladministration, there has been some effort to streamline regulation and law enforcement. On the other hand, in various sectors (e.g., commercial shipping, mass media, and construction) there have always been resourceful interest groups and influential businessmen. Governments have been and remain unwilling or unable to deal with them. Government agencies and the judiciary have been selective with regard to who should be consistently controlled and prosecuted for penal code violations, including for corruption.

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 developments.
 2
 1

The government has not adapted domestic government structures, no matter how beneficial 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 government attempted to implement legislation which had been previously passed, in accordance with the requirements of successive Economic Adjustment Programs for Greece (the so-called Memoranda). Implementation had been delayed as some measures were against the electoral program of the two coalition partners (Syriza and ANEL) in power since January 2015. For example, it was only in late autumn 2017 that the Ministry of Administrative Reconstruction adopted new measures for a performance-based review of Greek civil servants; such a review had never before taken place and Syriza had persistently fought against it between 2010 and 2014. In August 2018, Greece exited the last Economic Adjustment Program (2015 – 2018). It is questionable if the government will continue adapting domestic governmental structures to external demands with the same pace.

To what extent is the government able to collaborate effectively with 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 on the receiving end rather than a policy-setter. It has been unable to develop institutional capacities for fostering the provision of global public goods beyond its role as an EU member state. Given the continued stagnation of the Greek economy, the government has not been able to devote resources toward ensuring that its own national policies are in line with international norms and agreements.

Organizational Reform

#22

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
During the period under review, the monitoring of institutional governance arrangements were improved. The monitoring of such arrangements was executed from the top, namely either the PMO or the office of the minister responsible for a new institutional arrangement. The PMO is staffed with government ministers without a portfolio (at least three such ministers) and pro-government technocrats responsible for monitoring. 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 by 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
5
The Syriza-ANEL government has tried to enhance its strategic capacity in several ways, although in practice all strategy decisions are taken by a small circle of confidants around the Greek prime minister. Prime Minister Tsipras has relied on three government ministers without portfolio to assist him in carrying out his tasks and reform plans. Meanwhile, the Council of Administrative Reform continued its operation to oversee reforms in various policy sectors. The Hellenic Fiscal Council, an independent agency (as required under the Second Memorandum), continued its operations in the period under review monitoring state finances. Similarly, the Office of the State Budget, a unit of the parliament, also continued its task of monitoring the state’s finances and suggesting changes to economic policy. However, the government’s strategic capacity fell victim to the approaching elections (taking place at the end of 2018 or beginning 2019 or in mid-2019). As a consequence, short-term electoral calculations of cost and benefit rather than long-term reform strategies became the government’s top priority. One example is the government’s November 2018 proposal to reform the constitution of Greece to reflect the governing coalition’s preferences rather than well thought-out principles on efficient political reform.
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