21 Οκτωβρίου, 2015

99 Proposals by Potami

Potami presents 99 proposals on governing Greece. Our movement is looking for change; we firmly believe that our country can swiftly become an open society which does not suffer from cronyism or inequalities. A country with an outward looking economy, where the rule of law is strong.We realise that the changes necessary for us to reach our objective will not happen spontaneously or easily. We need methodical preparation, coordination, long term programming, prudence and courage, all of which the old parties have failed at. This is why we begin right at the starting point. A number of working parties and many volunteers from are doing all they can to help us achieve our purpose.

As Potami is not a motionless party, our proposals are, of course, open to discussion on our internet platform. 

1. The Spirit of Change

  • Societies must foster institutions and help them evolve. This way we change people, the world and how people view the world.

  • There are people who believe that the financial crisis caused the disintegration of Greek social institutions; to the contrary, Greece collapsed financially because the institutions and rule of post-junta society became obsolete and were cast aside.

  • The time has come to renew institutions. Citizens must also have their say in this bold reform effort. Everyone who is part of Greek society. Not just the old parties, as would be the case in the past, and not only Potami, just because we stand to benefit from such a renewal. Potami does not imagine it will change the world; we prefer to act as a catalyst for people to transform the world.

2. New Patriotism

  • The country needs a new kind of patriotism. Patriotism is not a synonym for aggressive, expansive, militaristic nationalism. Love of country does not depend on enmity towards other nations and countries or on the expulsion of foreigners living in our own country. Dedication to national sovereignty is another way of saying that our people want to be free to make their political and social choices, in harmony with our neighbours and with Europe.

  • This new patriotism is not limited to references to our glorious past, but is inspired by a belief in the country's potential and in the potential of its people.

  • This new patriotism finds and, in turn, provides inspiration in the great changes required; in the values which gave birth to modern Greece: freedom, equality and solidarity. Everyone who deplores the scourges of the past and wants to end cronyism, corruption and thievery by those in power, everyone who envisages a productive, outward -looking, progressive Greece, on equal terms with Europe, is part of this.

3. Cooperation means accepting others.

  • Potami is characterised by the spirit of cooperation. We believe in joining forces to promote “a conspiracy of virtue”.

  • The will to work with others means we accept others as our interlocutors. Cooperation does not shield weakness, submission or a secret agenda. Any cooperation effort aims to bring things together and to multiply forces towards a common direction. That is our goal.

  • Cooperation does not mean surrendering without terms. We will not join forces with just anyone, unconditionally.

4. Democracy rests on self-restraint

  • The essential precondition for any human society to do well is to adopt and respect rules. Freedom does not mean acting arbitrarily.

  • Democracy is a political system based on self restraint. Citizens are responsible for their choices and their actions. They are responsible for the way they vote. They use that vote to influence State Law. Laws express what citizens want. Complying with the Law is obligatory.

  • Democracy entails being able to amend laws. But until we do so, we are obliged to respect them.

5. State and growth

  • Potami says yes to a market economy but no to a market society.

  • The state provides the basic services of justice, education, health and security. Through big public investment it ensures the balanced growth of the country which allows society to develop.

  • The greatest part of social wealth and employment will be provided by the private sector. The state is not there to substitute for the private sector but to create the conditions under which entrepreneurship will flourish without distortions.

6. The consolidation of the public sector will serve the interests of the welfare state.

  • In Greece, 90% of the unemployed receive no support. In Britain and in Germany the corresponding percentage is 0%. Why? Because the inefficiency of the public sector encroaches on the welfare state and does not allow the state to support those truly in need.

  • A more rational public sector will not result in the welfare state contracting. To the contrary, it means everyone will be judged on their own merits; it means combating corruption, rationalising spending and setting the right priorities.

7. Accountability

  • Potami supports and upholds the general principle of accountability. Those empowered by citizens are obliged to render accounts on how they use the power invested in them.

  • Accountability does not only question how funds were used but also why actions were decided and commitments undertaken. Ruling without accountability is authoritarian. We will benefit greatly by introducing accountability at every level of government; it will foster legality, rationalise the work of the Administration and end party rule. The only way to throw off the party-boss political system and mentality which pushed us into the MOUs is to have accountable institutions.

8. Amending the constitution

  • Time is of the essence and we are moving at the pace of a tortoise. Politics must pick up speed. Therefore, we need to renew the institutions which are slowing politics down. This current parliament must initiate the procedure to amend the constitution and the next parliament must be clearly signalled as a revisionary assembly. For Potami, one of the most pressing issues is changing the way we revise the constitution. We want to amend article 110 and thus make clear that the five year period which must elapse between revisions refers to the provisions under amendment and not to the Constitution in its entirety. This way, Parliament will be in a position to amend a constitutional clause at any moment in time, unless it has been amended during the five previous years.
  • To amend Article 86, on “ministerial liability" immediately so that offences committed by ministers come under the same prescription rules as those in force for all other citizens.

  • To revise Article 63 which provides immunity to members of parliament: MPs must seek the protection of the assembly only when they feel that they are undergoing political or abusive prosecution (as in the UK). Protection must not be provided by default, as is the case currently, even for individuals accused of crimes that come under Criminal Law.

  • To directly amend Article 16 so that non-state, non-profit institutions can also offer university education. We do not have in mind sham universities, licensed by the trade ministry such as we have seen crowding apartment houses in the centre of Athens; we have in mind serious universities which will also attract foreign students to come and study in our country.

  • To revise articles 87-100 of the Constitution so that we overcome the malfunctions of the Justice system. Backward, obsolete provisions tie the hands of judges and obstruct expediting the provision of justice.

  • To adopt new regulation on how to appoint the Heads of the Independent Authorities. Article 101A needs revision. As no common ground has currently been found on this article, a 4/5 majority at the Parliamentary Conference of Presidents was not reached and this innovative institution has run aground.

  • To revise article 90 of the Constitution, so that the President of the Republic also participates in the selection of the Heads of the Supreme Courts; the selection will be made based on a list of names submitted by the majority party (3 names) and the opposition (2 names).

9. A fairer and more representative electoral system.

  • Potami has a specific, comprehensive plan to overhaul electoral law. The system needs drastic change so as to become stable, representative and proportional.

  • The first precondition is to break down the country into small constituencies. This means breaking up the A and B constituencies of Athens, Thessaloniki, Attica and Piraeus and any others, where necessary, into three or four parts. This will put a stop to electioneering in vast constituencies, where the better off, the well-known and the heirs of electoral districts always have an advantage.

  • The second precondition is the option of a “double vote”. We could adopt the so called German system, whereby, one vote goes to a party’s national list and one vote is given to a local MP who might belong to a different party than the one voted for nationally.

  • To immediately reduce the number of MPs. We can do that by law, without having to amend the Constitution.

  • To abolish the 50 seat bonus awarded to the party first past the post. Instead, we propose awarding the winner one extra seat for each 1% of the vote.
  • All Diaspora Greeks must have the right to vote.

  • Greeks from abroad must also be represented in parliament.

10. The rule of popular will, not populism

  • Today's republics are all sliding towards oligarchy. Politics are not run by citizens but by small numbers of omnipotent elites. To reverse that trend we need to inject direct democracy into representative (indirect) democracy. Our proposals include the optional use of nationwide and local referenda, revocation, and a cap to the number of terms served in the executive and will be combined with broad public consultation mechanisms and accountability tools.

  • Countries such as Italy and Switzerland have a tradition of referenda. We can follow their example and design a legal framework to regulate the number of signatures required, the type and scope of issues which can be put to referendum and other matters. IT solutions may be used to lower costs.

  • Citizens use these procedures to give direct expression to their views and hence do not feel cut off from decision making. Most importantly, they receive training in democracy. They understand that compromise solutions must be sought and that the views of the other side must be respected and thus are less liable to fall prey to demagogues and populists.

  • Obviously, the rights of a majority or any minority are not put to referendum.

11. Continuity in the Administration

  • To endow Greece with the kind of governmental structures and public administration which will make long-term planning possible, will support radical reform and improve efficiency. We propose setting up a Governance Centre which will coordinate governmental policy and all governmental work in general.

  • To reduce the number of cabinet members. This can easily be achieved by abolishing the post of undersecretaries and deputy ministers. The number of ministries must be fixed in advance, their competences defined and not be liable to change for reasons of convenience.

  • Every time elections are called or “threatened” and until a new government is formed and new cadres appointed, the “continuity of the State” is perturbed and its functioning is paralysed. We can overcome this contemporary Greek phenomenon by establishing “fixed term” undersecretaries. They will be appointed to a permanent post for a fixed term to be served in full and will work unimpeded and independent of party in key sectors such as Education, Foreign Policy, Defence, Social Security and Health.

12. A public sector with a vision and an agenda

Each Ministry, Region and Legal Body which manages public funds is obliged to prepare an action plan which will include targets, results and the means to deliver them. At the same time, their finances must be fully transparent: each Ministry, Region and Legal Body which manages public funds is obliged to upload on its site the amount of all expenditure and the reason it was incurred.

13. Yes to evaluation

  • The main tool to implement change is the human capital available, civil servants. They need to be motivated not denigrated. In this spirit, all civil servants must undergo evaluation in a manner which is thorough and objective.

  • To also evaluate the quality of the services provided by the various structures of the administration. As part of this exercise, citizens must also assess the services they receive.

  • Correspondingly and, depending on the fiscal situation of the country, we must introduce a motivation system which will offer additional material, career and moral reward. This system will assess individual and collective performance and the type of the service provided.

14. An end to corruption

  • Controls on the “wherewith” of the wealth acquired by politicians and public officials must be strict and systematic. Individuals from the above categories will be audited, selected through a random sample every year. In the category where most cases of corruption where found, controls will be multiplied.

  • To publicise the financial data pertaining to the functioning of government (with the exception of sensitive services) and of Parliament. Party financing must be transparent.

  • Municipalities, hospitals and other bodies will be selected for audit from a random sample, which will be drawn in the presence of the public; these audits will be carried out under conditions which will guarantee an unimpeachable procedure.

  • The Court of Audit and auditing companies will affect exhaustive controls on all local government bodies’ expenditure, payments and compliance with legality issues. The two institutions set up by law 385/2010 (Kallicratis), which are the Independent Monitoring Authority for Local Government Bodies and the Legality Controller, must be set in motion immediately.

  • To review the role of the Coordinator against Corruption: this institution must become the indisputable independent coordinating body for all judicial/administrative agencies and services and also serve as the main rapporteur submitting to Parliament regulation on combating corruption.

  • To convert the General Inspector of Public Administration into an Independent Administrative Authority; this will add prestige, minimise dependence from government and enshrine the General Inspector as the Administration's independent disciplinary body.

  • To increase the resources of the Ombudsman. It is a successful institution and plays an important role in settling day to day mismanagement cases. The Ombudsman must be connected to its regional and municipal counterparts.

  • Transparency in the role and funding of NGOs. Annual publication of their financial data, projects and the names of the individuals involved. Accountability to the competent national and European authorities which fund them.

15. Local government with its own funding resources

  • To review the map and competences of local government. The objective is to produce results and not just generate paperwork because of the overlapping municipal and regional competences.

  • To concede competences and the resources necessary to implement them to local government. Collection of the revised tax on real estate must be given over to local government, and become its main source of revenue.

16. Local assemblies

  • Local assemblies can be used for citizens to directly decide local or specific interest group issues, potentially making use of IT tools such as electronic voting. Neighbourhood councils can function in parallel, yet, independently of local government. These are suggestions to revive communal spirit in a transparent and participative way with no need for formal representation or subsidies.

17. Technology at the service of citizens

  • Citizens must have the opportunity to use the HERMES central government portal to monitor their transactions with the Public Administration. We propose upgrading Hermes so as to cover all communication needs between citizens and the Administration. Equally, we must also reinforce the Centres for the Service of Citizens.

  • Electronic signature, digital accounting documentation and digital files must be considered equal to original documents; this will facilitate transactions and contribute to modernising the way the state functions.

  • To introduce a Citizen's Card: All citizens to be equipped with a single identifying number for all dealings with the state.

18. The "final text"

  • All attempts made by citizens to come to grips with existing legislation stumble against the endless number of provisions, articles, laws and indents of previous laws which have either been amended, abrogated or remain in force. We need to simplify, to update and to fully codify our legislation. A single law and, integrated in its text, all previous provisions still in force. This codified law will be titled “final text”.

  • A “final text” will enhance transparency, put a stop to excessive legislation, and deter from inserting targeted “photographic” provisions.

  • To follow the example of other European institutions (such as the Law Commission in Britain) and establish a new Independent Authority, staffed by people who combine scientific ability and managerial experience, which will run this project.

  • The Administration shall comply with this legislative rule and avoid regulating via circulars which distort both the objective and the spirit of laws.

19. State and Church: Separation will benefit both

  • Potami respects the Orthodox Church; however the state is a separate, independent institution. The idea of separating Church and religious forms from secular state functions has matured. The objective is for both institutions to function better; the separation will be consensual, there will be no winner or loser.

  • The Orthodox Church stands to benefit as it will escape the embrace of the state; it needs to do so urgently, in order to face the challenges of our times.

20. Radio and TV frequencies

  • Radio and TV frequencies have been in operation since 1987 using provisional “presidential” and “prefectural” licenses. In fact, they are operating under an illegal regime. All “attempts” to introduce a minimum of order have failed. The Plenary of the State Council ruled in 2011 that the current regime violates the fundamental constitutional principles of the rule of law, of the protection of human values and the constitutional right of equality.

  • To call an international tender and award seven year operation licenses for these frequencies; the framework will strike a balance between self-regulation and a degree of control which will ensure that codes of conduct for journalists are being upheld. This will result in transparency, clarity and financial benefits for the public sector.

21. The advertising expenses of the public sector

  • All state and state supervised bodies, ministries, municipalities, municipal agencies and all those who manage advertising funds from public and European sources must upload on the Diavgeia site all expenditure, as a total and per medium, and justify the choice of specific media by connecting the selection of medium to the targets of each separate publicity campaign.

  • The country is full of parasitic publications and radio/TV stations which skim a great part of the public sector's advertising budget. They have zero recognition or ratings, but big subsidies and owners with easy access to people in power.

22. A top quality Radio and TV public broadcasting company

  • A democracy needs a public Radio and TV broadcasting company which will assume the role of an information and education tool and will be open and accessible to all. As a public body it can take risks where market rules would render that prohibitive and end up a winner.

  • Our country's public Radio and TV need institutional reform to foolproof them against governmental, party or financial intervention. Only then, will they be able to operate in an impartial manner which will benefit viewers.

  • The authoritarian way in which ERT was shut down and the government's refusal to establish an institutional framework which would make NERIT independent, prove that the objective of the closure was to lay off “the others” and make way for “our people”, without cutting off the umbilical cord which ties government to a party-ruled Radio and TV broadcasting company.

23. Justice must be blind, not slow

  • Long delays in awarding justice are seriously de-motivating investment in our country. There are over 1,000,000 pending cases in criminal courts alone. Yet we have 30 judges per 100,000 inhabitants, when France has 12 and Italy 11. However, we lag behind as far as the introduction of computer technology and the electronic transmission of documents are concerned. The digitalisation programme for Courts only started in 2012 and has yet to be completed. The matter is pressing, as is the issue of the administrative re-organisation of Courts. Trained staff must be brought in to contribute significantly to the smooth running of Courts and Justice. A special internal audit service, independent of political intervention must be set up for the Judicial.

  • In all cases, bribing a Judge must be considered a felony punishable by a term of imprisonment with no possibility of receiving a suspended sentence.

  • The evaluation of justice and judges cannot rest solely on the judicial. Greek citizens and their representative bodies must participate in an evaluation exercise through judicial councils or parliament.

24. Out of court settlement and acceleration

To encourage alternative methods of dispute settlement in commercial and civil cases by providing incentives to lawyers and parties. These options will decongest Courts if used in combination with full computerisation and the e-transmission of documents. Currently, a commercial or civil case needs 500 days after submission to be heard at the Court of First Instance, compared to the 200 days necessary in 2010.

  • To try cases in group, and extend and strengthen the “pilot trial” which allows cases to be heard together and judgment to be pronounced swiftly. This will also help decongest the system.

25. A cohabitation pact for all

On the issue of same sex couples’ rights, Potami is clearly in favour of fully harmonising practises in our country with practices in Western Europe and the relevant decisions of the European Union.

  • All couples, independently of gender, to be entitled to a fully recognised cohabitation pact; this pact will cover contracting parties on insurance, inheritance, legal recognition etc. The extension of this right to same sex couples does not in any way influence the rights and obligations of heterosexual couples.

26. Human rights

  • Compliance with the European Convention for Human Rights is indisputable. Democracy is no longer democracy if it restricts the freedom of speech and expression. Limits are applied to actions. We should be as strict with illegal acts as we are tolerant with freedom of speech.

  • Our country desperately lags behind in ensuring equal rights and opportunities to people with disabilities or chronic disease. Potami considers it urgent to facilitate accessibility and safety in transport, the natural environment and all sectors of human activity for people with disabilities or chronic disease.

  • We claim equal opportunities for employment, education, independent living conditions and housing; we aim to combat indifference, prejudice and the violation of patients’ rights.

  • Moral pluralism is a basic principle of modern democracies.

  • The State must organise awareness campaigns to combat every type of discrimination because of social origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and more; such discrimination constitutes an insult to civilisation.

  • On contemporary moral issues such as euthanasia – passive and active – and the incineration of the deceased, we must follow European practice.

27. Education

  • The objective of education is to cultivate moral standards and critical thought. It is not about rote learning and rehashing inherited knowledge.

  • As a state and as a society, instead of spending time, effort and money to improve the average citizen, we wasted time, effort and money going in the opposite direction. Potami supports reversing this trend.

  • To appoint a fixed-term undersecretary for Education.

  • To reinforce the role of independent authorities in decision making. The Institute of Educational Policy must recruit personnel based on personal merits, not party affiliation and play a determining role when the state sets curricula.

28. Preschool, early childhood education

  • Essential reforms in education cannot be introduced at university level. They must start at primary school and pre-school level.

  • The State must pay particular attention to early childhood education. Nursery schools are the very first place where children acquire social skills and develop their abilities.

  • A single system of early childhood education for children between the ages of 0 and 6 open to all families without exception. A single pedagogical program based on the development needs of infants.

29. Education professionals and education

  • To liberate promotion and evaluation procedures of education professionals and the selection of managerial staff from party mechanisms. Through the evaluation procedure, teachers and professors must be offered incentives. Students must also have the right to evaluate, anonymously.
  • To award importance to the managing of school units. The corresponding post-graduate courses must be reinforced and special training provided to those who are destined to become school heads, school advisors or evaluators. School Heads must be appointed because they offer accredited ability and not because they have seniority.

  • Frequent training for all education professionals, possibly using remote learning.

  • To recognise and promote best practices. A greater margin of independence for education professionals.

30. Open schools, open minds.

  • To separate Senior High School (Lykeion) from the entrance system to Higher education. Students must receive a national high school leaving certificate and, then, sit an admission test of skills and knowledge based on international standards which will reward students’ critical faculties and the knowledge acquired throughout high school, not useless technicalities and barren memorisation, as is the case currently.

  • To extend the institution of model pilot schools to cover the whole country.

  • To expand school curricula to cover a broader range of educational needs, such as sex education, nutrition, civics, etc. Psychological support must be offered to students at all educational levels.

  • To overhaul technical and vocational education. To reform curricula at the Vocational Senior High School and link their certificates to specific vocational skills.

  • To set National Learning Standards. Each student, parent and education professional is entitled to know what the level of knowledge and skills required of students is, upon completion of each school year.

  • Secondary education institutions must adopt international standards for proficiency certificates in foreign languages, IT skills, etc.

  • To improve and upgrade the Special Education system so as to extend access and guarantee equal opportunities to students with different kinds of disabilities and/or special educational needs.

  • To give schools the right to self administration and to managing their own funds (state or other).

31. Independent Higher Education Institutions

  • To adopt a measure which is self evident: a pass mark of at least 10 out of 20, which means, that no one has access to higher education unless they receive, at least, a passing score. This was recently abolished because it was considered a “class measure”. We must reintroduce it urgently, especially for higher education institutions.

  • It is inconceivable that, while we have 50,000 Greek students studying abroad, a constitutional provision prohibits non-state universities. We need to establish non-state, non- profit universities supervised by the Authority to Guarantee and Certify Quality in Higher Education and accredited in the same way as all other higher education institutions.

  • The independence of state universities must not remain mere words on paper. We must be able to reach the stage where each Department set its own admission criteria and the number of students to be admitted.

  • To provide incentives for courses taught in English to be set up, in particular at the post -graduate level, so as to attract foreign students.

  • To give university graduates the opportunity to participate in the evaluation procedures of their university.

  • To allow mobility between Departments and Faculties until the second year of a university course (included).

  • To ensure the unimpeded deliberation of bodies as legally constituted.

  • Optional e-voting and e-consultations for all bodies (even those representing students) to ensure that participation and representation are as wide as possible.

  • Professional management of universities’ assets by the legal entities foreseen by law. True accountability and an annual financial statement which will be made public to promote transparency.

32. Universities and entrepreneurship

  • To encourage the mutually beneficial connection of universities to production; in developed countries this acts as leverage for growth.

  • To promote entrepreneurship and innovation centres and professional careers offices inside universities.

  • To provide incentives to universities to offer free of charge space to start-ups, for a period of 2 to 4 years, as long as their students own over 66% of share capital.

33. Social protection for all

  • To extend the payment of unemployment benefit from the current 12 to 24 months, until unemployment drops to the European average. Increase the number of beneficiaries and rationalise payment criteria.

  • To extend, without any restriction, the payment of long-term unemployment benefit to all unemployed persons living in families with an income below the poverty threshold.

  • To introduce a means-tested housing benefit to replace the rent allowance which was abolished in 2010.

  • To consolidate and rationalise disability benefits.

  • To use the experience gained from the pilot phase of the minimum income guarantee scheme. Apply a revised form of this scheme on all Greek territory. No one must be deprived of housing, healthcare, food or education for financial reasons.

  • To provide school meals for primary school students.

  • To make use of European funds for pre-school education, so that no children are left without a nursery school place. Vouchers for families with children between the ages of 2 and 5, to be used for payment in accredited nursery schools.

  • To offer interest-free loans to students who can prove they need them. Repayment of the loans will start 2-3 years after the expiration of the statutory course of study, with a 20-year payback period.

  • To reform and modernise the “help in the home” program to support elderly people living alone.

  • To provide free access to a basic health service package to the poor, the unemployed, the elderly and people suffering from chronic disease.

  • To abolish the continuous medical revision procedures for patients suffering from an incurable disease who currently undergo continuous medical tests to prove what is self evident, i.e. that their health problem persists.

  • To subsidise employment. All European and national funds destined to offer relief and reinsertion to the unemployed must be used for actions which provide people with a job, even if it is only a temporary one.

34. Not a single Greek without healthcare coverage.

  • Our main proposal is to set up a National Health Insurance scheme which will offer universal coverage for a basic “package” of services provided by the National Organisation for the Provision of Healthcare Services (EOPYY). We aim to be in a position to fund the NHS from general taxation within 4 years and, as a result, reduce the contributions paid by employers and employees. Access to this system will be free of charge for permanent residents of the country. Access to emergency services will be free of charge for everyone.

  • From the start, access to the basic health services package will be free of charge for vulnerable social groups.

  • To introduce a cap, expressed as a percentage point of GDP, both for total and public health expenditure. Our target is to set this cap at the average amount spent by EU countries.

  • To closely connect primary care to hospital care, with referral from the first to the latter; specific provision will be made for emergency care.

35. Health insurance card

  • Transactions between citizens and healthcare structures will take place exclusively via an electronic card. Citizens will be charged only for the part of the services selected outside the basic package and the amount will depend on income declared in the annual tax declaration.

36. Redraw the “hospital map of the country”

  • To urgently redraft the “hospital map of the country” for the next 20 years; having 2,000 clinics in approximately 130 hospitals is absurd. It is equally irrational to have three or four small hospitals in a prefecture, yet have 80% of cases referred for treatment to university hospitals in other areas.

  • To merge, where possible, scattered health facilities and create fewer, stronger, independent structures which are in a position to offer full treatment to patients and thus drastically bring down the number of cases brought to central hospitals.

37. Staffing hospitals

  • To staff hospitals based on the scientific skills of doctors and the professional adequacy of nursing staff.

  • To select hospital directors through open, “party proof" competitions.

  • To provide financial incentives so that medical and nursing staff serve in the neglected regions of the country; seasonal requirements will also be taken into account.

38. No more waste in the health sector.

  • To control cost, we must connect primary and secondary care via a referral system which will be closely monitored, so as to put a stop to unnecessary magnetic resonances and smear tests for men. To combat corruption we must make use of scientific criteria and control medical prescriptions and referrals for medical tests. The precondition to achieve this is to improve the electronic prescription system and to store patients’ files in electronic form.

  • To hold open, simple e-tenders for supplies in the Health sector following strict quality protocols drawn up by an independent body; this will rationalise expenditure and we will avoid the unreasonable waste and corruption of the past. The Health Ministry must set policy on medicines and the National Organisation for Medicines (EOF) must be responsible for quality control.

39. Prevention and future intervention.

  • Citizens’ health has already suffered the consequences of the financial crisis; this is reflected in the increase in mental disease and obesity cases. Forecasts for the following years are not encouraging. We need an urgent, extraordinary Prevention and Intervention Programme for the next three years, which will make use of preventive testing and will provide a plan on how to deal with the increasing “wave of morbidity”.

40. Entrepreneurship and innovation

  • To break with inflexible fixations which consider entrepreneurship a by-word for speculation.

  • To provide enterprises with a pack of incentives so that they grow in size. The goal is to significantly increase the number of employees and business volumes per company.

  • To overhaul the procedures to award patents and intellectual property rights.

  • To decisively promote youth entrepreneurship by radically cutting red tape; for example, by eliminating the cost of setting up and maintaining a young business and eliminating VAT for the first three years in operation and for companies with annual revenue of up to €50,000.

41. Exports

  • The country’s trade balance has been negative for years. We have the fewest exports in Europe. In 2008 they added up to 24% of GDP; currently they amount to 29%, not because exports increased, but because revenue from other sources dropped. Our target is to reach 40% of GDP which will be on an upward curve.
  • To give priority to manufacturing products which are commercially viable at the global level. Our national objective must be to create new jobs in these sectors, both in existing and new companies.

  • To lift dozens of bureaucratic obstacles; VAT refunds must be paid automatically, export guarantees must be offered as a matter of course and incentives must be provided to innovative, export-oriented companies. The national objective must be to create 500,000 jobs in these sectors (in existing and new companies), over the next five years.

42. New forms of social cooperative enterprises.

  • Cooperative enterprises are a useful tool for entrepreneurship to grow and unemployment to fall. They promote a new, collective model of business. Cooperative enterprises, depending on their line of business and their potential, must be attributed a more vital position in the new entrepreneurial panorama of the country.

43. Self administration of enterprises which are winding up

  • The State must encourage the self administration initiatives of companies which are closing down because of the crisis. Their employees must try to carry on operations. The cooperative spirit, solidarity and self-organisation, have characterised the labour movement since its very beginning. Greek tradition is familiar with these concepts, not only through the distant past, but also through the cooperatives of Ambelakia, and the communes between world wars. Such efforts are not utopian; however, they demand courage from employees and support from the State.

44. Modern, alternative ways to fund entrepreneurship.

  • To establish an institutional framework which will promote alternative ways of funding. The necessary tools are: direct loans, which allow companies to find funding through bilateral negotiations with specific market stakeholders without going through a bank and collective funding efforts, whereby small investors join forces over a digital platform and use their savings to finance businessmen. For countries such as Greece, where a big percentage of companies employ less than five employees, such methods are far more promising than other sources.

45. Bankruptcy code

  • Business failure must neither be stigmatised nor criminalised. Business failure is a natural part of the process and has useful lessons to offer.

  • Exceptions to this maxim are cases where intent or grave negligence have been established. The authorities must insist on clearly separating company from personal assets and prosecute owners who enrich themselves to the detriment of their company.

  • To put an end to the unconditional priority given to settling, before all other debt, the debts of bankrupt companies to the state. This causes distortions and injures the legal interests of all other creditors: employees, suppliers, banks. Creditors must have equal, proportionate and fair opportunities to call in their guarantees and quotas. Doing so will, to a great extent, protect employees and offer a breath of life to companies.

46. The fight against undeclared and uninsured labour.

  • Undeclared labour can only be combated with a combination of repressive measures and incentives such as reducing the burden of compliance with legislation.
  • Extra-wage costs must be brought down, especially social security contributions which are still extremely high. Τhis reduction will impact very positively on competiveness, employment, decreasing undeclared labour and increasing the productivity of small companies.
  • NSRF funds for training and temporary employment programs must be used exclusively for practical training and real jobs. No one benefits from virtual office jobs in ministerial or municipal offices, or from theoretical workshops. There are two possible ways to do this: either municipalities design community work and infrastructure maintenance programs and employ young people, or, employers design training which includes on-the-job experience and receives priority funding.
  • To carry out intensive and continuous inspections to combat undeclared/uninsured labour with repeated on-the-spot visits; making use of all IT tools available.

  • To formalise the participation of the trade union movement which can contribute greatly to combating undeclared/uninsured work.

47.Targeted public investment.

  • To increase public investment in both small and big projects. This will immediately reinforce employment; it is the only type of public expenditure which can find additional funding from abroad. Public investment must, as a priority, go to projects which increase production (i.e. irrigation projects in areas with export crops), transit (i.e. rail connections for ports) and technological infrastructure (i.e. broadband networks).

  • To use the PPP (Public Private Partnership) model as the main investment tool to build and operate the public infrastructure required. This guarantees that the public sector defines what interventions will take place and monitors their correct implementation, while the private sector implements them. Contractor revenue is calculated on the actual volume/size of the infrastructure provided to final users.

48. Yes to Mining, yes to the Environment.

  • 1,500 mines and quarries are in operation in Greece. We are not in a position to ignore the financial benefits of exploiting our mineral wealth, as long as this is done with respect for the environment, local communities and in accordance with international standards.

  • To introduce a law, in consultation with local societies, on the granting of offset benefits and on the fair payment of all relevant rents.

  • The role of local government in fostering synergies between investors and local society is of vital importance. The objective is to guarantee that environmental rules are complied with and that the inhabitants and the area under question receive maximum benefits through social corporate responsibility actions, parallel investment and sponsorships.

  • To prepare a national and local spatial plan which makes provision for mining/extraction activities and for alternative ways to re-utilise land.

  • To establish a joint electronic database which includes all information on metal deposits and protected areas.

  • To submit the new bill on quarries which has been pending for eleven years.

  • To codify and full proof the procedure to prepare environmental impact studies and, at the same time, also simplify the whole procedure.

  • To reinforce mine inspectorates which are not functioning to capacity; as a result, no inspections are carried out in a sector which is sensitive for the environment and dangerous for employees.

49. We must become the orchard and cellar of Europe

  • Potami accords priority to developing the agricultural sector and converting it into a main pillar of the country’s new production model. Our goal is to add value to products which offer comparative advantages such as fruit and vegetable, olive oil and wine and to increase the production of quality livestock and high added value produce.
  • Farmers must continue to receive subsidies, but in a way which will have a multiplying effect: we need to encourage collective entrepreneurship which adds surplus value to products at all stages, from production through to processing and marketing. Our guiding principles are quality and the environment.

  • To become competitive, the sector requires strong, sectoral collective associations which will intervene at all stages, from production to marketing; it also needs the institutional support of the state.

  • At the same time, all farmers must participate in strong and flexible producers associations. These associations will manage similar type products and offer strong management; they will work in stable and close partnership with stakeholders from the area of applied agricultural research and innovation.

  • To extend State protection to all Greek products in the market, under a single promotion scheme. Currently, huge amounts are spent in piecemeal actions which have little effect.

  • If we follow this option and support collective effort, then, we must also intervene to cut production costs by setting up a strong agricultural supplies cooperative in the sector.

  • Our strategic plan pays particular attention to research, education and technical assistance; we consider them to be parts of the same body, working together in harmony. The re-activation of the “agricultural applications agency” will further contribute to this, as the agency will serve as a multilateral, nonstop communication hub for farmers, the administration, research and education.

  • Agronomists need to fulfil a different role to that of State Inspector: they must offer guidance to agricultural production bodies and determine the ways in which the state can support the agricultural sector. They must cease acting as salesmen of agro-supplies and start acting as technical advisors for farmers associations.

  • Land redistribution plays a dominant part in all the above. We must adopt a series of measures to directly increase the size of small and medium holdings: tax free transfer of ownership, interest free loans, prohibition of parcelling out, taxation of uncultivated agricultural land and long-term concession of pastureland to livestock farmers under condition that they protect the environment.
  • Our goals for the primary sector are:

  • For farmers:

  1. To ensure sustainable family income.

  2. To reduce fluctuation in agricultural revenue.

  3. To make the sector more competitive.

  • For consumers:

1. To guarantee fairly priced, safe, high quality food.

  • For society :

  1. To protect the natural and cultural environment.

  2. To promote employment in rural areas through agricultural and other actions.

50. A pioneering pan-European fisheries policy

  • To provide real control of illegal and destructive fishing. To combat overfishing and use the new CFP “tools” for the sustainable management of marine resources and for the designation of “recovery areas for fish stocks”.

  • To draft a spatial plan for fisheries which will define fishing grounds and permissible gear for angling, coastal, and deep-sea fishing. Fishing intensity will depend on the sustainability of fish stocks.

  • To improve Greek aquaculture using practices which respect the environment and produce good quality products with increased commercial value. This is the only way to ensure that the majority of Greek aquaculture companies which have been on the brink of bankruptcy become viable over the long term.

  • To make full use of the resources and possibilities offered by the 2014-2020 Fisheries OP. We must re-examine the measure on state-guaranteed bank loans.

  • To develop fishing tourism, exploiting the unique advantages offered by Greek island and coastal regions. This way we will create a new tourist product which will reduce fishing effort in overfished areas, and provide fishermen with an alternative source of income.

  • To establish a Fisheries Institute which will provide training to Greek fishermen who are the most numerous fishing fleet in Europe.

51. A National Strategic Plan for Tourism

  • To draft a National Strategic Plan for Tourism which will be implemented over ten years (2015-2025) and will be based on two central strategic objectives: upgrading the quality of products/ services and extending the tourist season.

  • Greece is endowed with a landscape and a cultural heritage which add up to a great combination of unique destinations. However, this is not enough for our country and our economy to reap the maximum benefit possible. We need to promote our tourist product abroad and to reinforce consular representation so as to offer better service to tourists in their own country.

  • To focus the revised tourism policy on the quality of services and the variety of products/destinations throughout the year. The productive forces involved in the tourism industry, local government, representative bodies of the sector, cooperatives, chambers and environmental organisations, must all contribute to this new policy, under the coordination of the Ministry for Tourism. This effort must be customised to serve the needs of each region and prefecture.

  • To prepare a five year plan to extend the tourist season and introduce winter tourism, making use of aggressive pricing; the objective for winter tourism is to provide 1/3 of the total annual revenue and overnight stays.

52. To increase quality tourism and thematic tourism

  • Our main goal is to develop top-end, low intensity, quality tourism, moving away from the other extreme, saturated low-cost mass tourism. Thematic tourism also has a lot to offer and can put to good use the country’s significant comparative advantages.

  • To boost maritime tourism with a network of 50 small and big marinas, by upgrading the ones in existence and constructing new ones. All marinas will comply with the same set of high quality standards.

  • To promote medical tourism through an advertising campaign which will showcase the top level technical skills of Greek doctors, the high quality of infrastructure and the competitive prices of medical services in our country.

  • To set up a Coordination Agency for Alternative Forms of Tourism which will develop alternative forms of tourism (hiking, climbing, mountaineering, gorge crossing, cycling, diving, gliding). This agency will fall under the competence of the Tourism Ministry and will be responsible for drafting the technical specifications for the infrastructure projects which are necessary to develop these forms of tourism; it will contract experts to prepare the relevant studies and will monitor the construction, maintenance and running of these projects.

  • To create National Rock Climbing Parks (Kalymnos, Meteora, Lakonia) which will be connected to extensive networks of signposted trails, offering additional hiking opportunities.

53. Tourist investment

  • Our country has huge potential for new, targeted tourist investment, based on a spatial plan covering all our territory. This investment must foresee attracting top range international hotel companies and the construction of high value housing for sale or long-term rent.
  • To register all tourism related facilities. Illegality, the parallel economy and undeclared/uninsured labour undermine our efforts. Putting a stop to these phenomena is vital.

54. To create an internationally competitive shipping environment.

  • The biggest challenge facing Greek shipping is how to design a comprehensive national strategy for the integrated development of shipping. This strategy must set up a shipping cluster which will combine and reinforce financial activities currently cut off from each other. The objective is to develop and strengthen shipping activities in the country, by bringing together companies, training institutions and the state.

  • Transparency everywhere: The Tax Office for Shipping must be fully computerised and digitised: we need to identify and put a stop to all distortive tax waivers; close all loopholes which make tax avoidance possible, and prohibit falsely declaring personal wealth as company assets.

  • To encourage shipyards to work together with universities, port authorities and ship-owners’ associations so that they identify and put to good use their comparative advantages and specific skills. We need investment and tax incentives which will support Greek shipping technology, assist Greek companies which are on the periphery of shipping activity and boost shipping start- ups.

  • Ports are engines for growth. We propose adopting the European practice of retaining state ownership of ports while conceding operations to private enterprises, through transparent international tenders. Greek ports must work together, not against each other. They must each specialise in the areas where they offer competitive advantages and develop combined transport opportunities. Obviously, a stable operational framework is essential; the management of the Port Authorities must be appointed in a transparent manner, through competitions and not according to party affiliation.

55. Maritime education

  • To design and establish a comprehensive system of Secondary and Higher Maritime Education (for officers and crews); this system will serve current and future needs and take technological evolution into account.

  • To develop an integrated system of Shipping Studies (for office staff) which will bring together all University Shipping Departments; all departments will be placed under the supervision of a central body, responsible for certifying, controlling and evaluating their administrative, financial and educational operations. Obviously, the two systems described above must cooperate and interface with each other.

  • Greek academic institutions which have shipping related Faculties (NTUA, University of Piraeus, University of the Aegean) must become the main partners in this effort, and pay particular attention to specialised post-graduate programmes in subjects directly linked to the shipping sector (Shipping Law, Shipping Technology, Shipping MBAs, Shipping Economics and Finance, Shipping Logistics etc).

  • To promote maritime professions and the opportunities they offer. To pave the way for young Greeks to enter these professions and pick up the mantle from previous generations who are gradually retiring. Currently, in spite of high rates of unemployment, inflows are weak.

  • To allow the operation of non-state Higher Shipping Institutions which will offer certified staff, a modern curriculum and state of the art infrastructure; this, on the one hand, will help cover needs for human resources and, on the other hand, will eventually transform Greek Shipping Faculties into an internationally attractive hub.

56. Coastal shipping

  • To reconstruct the coastal shipping network and focus on creating ports which will serve as hubs from where ships will leave to and from smaller islands; thus we ensure all islands have a stable transport connection. To carry out a partial review of state aid for the internal transport system and expand the resources available for transport through public and private funding sources.

  • To award routes to island complexes to shipping cooperative associations in which local government has a share. These cooperatives will be partially subsidised; at the same time island shipping routes will be redesigned to take into account economic viability, and the needs of the islands’ inhabitants throughout the year. We must reap the lessons of best practices, but also learn from past bad examples.

  • To create a competitive environment by offering more attractive, multiannual contracts; these must include an “incorrect service of routes” termination clause and precise quality specifications.

  • To allow flexible cooperation between shipping lines, under specific conditions. This will increase occupancy rates, the number of port calls, reduce emissions and lower overall costs, making companies more viable.

  • To apply a single VAT rate of 6.5% for both passengers and freight, as is the case for tourism services.

57. Taxation-tax evasion. Legality must offer more advantages than illegality.

  • Reducing taxation is a vital tool of growth policy.

  • To have a single tax scale for all revenue categories.

  • To introduce the concept of the “manifestly law abiding taxpayer”. This is a self employed person, or a single-owner company, who is audited and proves to be sincere in deed and up to date with all tax and social contributions obligations. This tax payer receives privileged treatment (a reduced tax rate, payment in installments, priority service etc) when compared to other taxpayers.

  • To turn over the consolidated tax on real estate to local government and have it become its greatest source of revenue. Local government will be better able to attribute the tax burden more fairly, depending on the type of real estate asset.

  • To precede any lightening of the tax burden by a gradual further reduction in social insurance contributions; this reduction will impact positively on uninsured labour.

  • To establish a single collection centre for social insurance contributions to all funds. To introduce a single tax and social security compliance certificate.

  • To set up a Pan-Hellenic Tax Office for people whose only income is their salary or pension. They will also be served by a call centre and the Citizens Service Centres. This will free human and material resources for more important categories of taxpayers.

  • The most effective way to combat tax evasion is a continuous, targeted and sample based control of money flows. All legal transactions, big payments and incoming amounts, must be backed by all the relevant legal documentation.

  • Everybody, independently of size, will face tax audits and their consequences; no citizen or entrepreneur must be allowed to convert tax evasion into a “business advantage”.

58. The public sector and its obligations

  • Quite often citizens owe the state money, while, at the same time, they are also owed money by the state. We propose to protect citizens from non payment-of-debt-legislation, up to the amount which they are owed by the state. Making citizens liable for interest on outstanding debts, while the state pays its obligations with a delay of two or three years and without any interest added on, is plain robbery.

  • The public sector must win back the trust of taxpayers. This is the first step to combat tax evasion.

  • To make SDOE (Economic Crimes Enforcement Agency) and the SGPR (General Secretariat for Public Revenue) independent of central government. They must be placed under an independent authority, so as to stop serving petty party interests.

59. Reduction of social security contributions

  • A reduction in the amount of contributions will encourage hiring staff; employing undeclared labour will no longer offer financial advantages. It will also bolster SME’s which are the backbone of the Greek economy.

  • High social security contributions do not necessarily signify higher revenue for insurance funds. Emphasis must be shifted to collection and the sound management of revenue.

  • To precede any lightening of the tax burden by a further gradual reduction of social security contributions; we must make the self employed our first priority and calculate their contributions on their income and not on a per capita basis.

  • To simplify procedures and cut red tape to a minimum: a single collection centre for the social security contributions of all insurance funds.

60. Social security

  • Changes in the social security system make it imperative for the political system and the trade unions to act with sincerity and consensus. Any solution must be projected over the next 20 years. Chronic demagogy is one of the root causes of the current impasse.

  • We are in favour of a single pension system. We want a level playing field for all, with no privileges or exceptions.

  • The pension system must be designed to pay back the contributions of any insured party, when they retire or are no longer able to work.

  • We propose a fully contributory graduated pension financed exclusively by insurance contributions (paid by the state, employers and employees), with no “social levies”. And a fully contributory supplemental pension funded by employers and employees.

  • A targeted reduction of social contribution amounts, starting immediately with the self employed; the amount of contributions must be calculated on a per income basis and not per capita.

  • To combat undeclared, uninsured, unprotected labour. Controls against undeclared labour must be intensive and continuous, making use of all IT means. The contribution of the trade union movement in fighting undeclared labour can be significant and should be formalised.

61. Trade Unionism for workers, not parties

  • Trade unions are not just close to parties, they are subjected to parties. They do not genuinely represent workers; they represent parties which dictate policy to them. To put an end to this distortion, trade union associations must become independent of party rule. Only then will they be able to defend the interests of their members and not the interests of parties or highly placed trade unionists.
  • To extend the rights of trade union members and restrict the privileges of union stewards.

  • To make financial transactions transparent and open to audit.

  • To create representative bodies in as many companies as possible. To achieve this, we must offer incentives and disincentives to employers and protect trade unionists.

  • To reduce the social security contributions paid by employers if the workforce has a representative body and a collective agreement.

  • To have appeals against the firing of trade unions members heard immediately. In such cases, the labour inspectorate must intensify its controls.

62. Collective agreements on a new basis

  • To once again sign agreements at the central level so as to regulate issues with nationwide implications such as lifelong training for employees, changes in layoff conditions, the amount of compensation, and unemployment insurance.

  • For companies which employ over 50 people, corporate agreements with truly representative associations, must become the main form of collective negotiation and prevail over sectoral and occupation-based agreements. Thus, the more productive companies can offer more, growing companies can plan ahead and less productive companies can survive thanks to bearable contributions.

  • To introduce a single agreement which will protect employees independently of the type of contact (open end or fixed term contract). The level of protection increases in proportion with the length of service.

63. Towards a serviceable Public Debt

  • The idea of settling the debt issue unilaterally is unrealistic. Negotiations with our creditors must proceed on a realistic and mutually acceptable base.

  • The country must enter these negotiations with self-confidence and with its own portfolio of patriotic reforms which will re-orient the economy. The exemption of bonds held by the ECB from the PSI (which were unjustifiably exempted from the haircut) must also be part of the discussion.

  • To achieve a definitive improvement in the quality of the debt, so that it becomes truly serviceable and does not undermine the country’s effort to return to the path of growth. This is our vision and this is what best serves the interests of our country.

  • To settle the debt issue, by greatly extending due dates, cutting interest rates, coming to an arrangement with the IMF over its pre-requisites and in combination with waiving payment obligations for a certain period of time. This is the only way society and the economy will have the opportunity and the resources to recover.

  • Every new loan taken out by the country after the debt issue is settled must either be earmarked for diminution of our national debt under more favourable conditions or for public investment, which of course will have positive implications for GDP and employment.

64. Fiscal responsibility must be enshrined in law

  • To never again find ourselves as a country in our current position, we propose introducing a fiscal responsibility law, similar to the Lula model in Brazil, with a cap expressed in terms of GDP percentage points. No new loans are allowed above this cap, with the exception of loans to refinance old debt. To increase the cap, will require a two thirds parliamentary majority.

  • To accompany each loan with the corresponding study on how the funds will be used. Loans “for the general requirements of the State”, if these are not defined, will not be allowed. The use made of these loans will be controlled every six months.

  • To adopt the “golden rule”, which prohibits net loans from being higher than the country’s investment programme.

  • To split budget voting procedures into two parts: during the first stage, approval is granted for general issues such as revenue, expenditure and loans and in the second stage the allocation of expenditure is endorsed.

  • To make an exception for targeted actions which deal with social issues such as child poverty and high unemployment; over the long term, social cohesion and economic growth will benefit from the eradication of these problems.

65. The solution for private debt

  • To establish an independent intermediate body, with the participation of banks, the State, private parties and perhaps the ECB which will assume responsibility for managing corporate debt. It must also implement the liquidation of “bad banks” (Proton, Agricultural Bank of Greece etc). This body will be better able to safeguard public interest, advance a solution and foster a rapid return to sound entrepreneurship.

  • To immediately amend the bankruptcy code as this is the only correct solution for internal debt. Currently, when bankrupt company assets are sold or used as part of a debt settlement, priority is given to the State. Protecting the interests of creditors in a similar, equitable manner will bring revenue to the treasury.

  • To restructure the settlement of corporate debt in a way which will allow companies to get back on the course of recovery, without, however, setting up a system of “immoral reward” which places companies which service their debts at disadvantage.

  • To bail out over-indebted companies which are potentially viable, first by capitalising their debts to the banks and the state, then, consolidate them while in operation and, finally, re-privatise them.

  • To place over-indebted non-viable companies in liquidation within a reasonable amount of time using transparent procedures. We need a single, definitive, compact pack of facilitation measures for small companies and professionals, which will cover the totality of their debts (loans, State, Insurance Funds); these measures will also foresee long term debt settlement in installments, free of additional burdens.

  • For “home residence” loans taken out for housing of under a certain value or size which are not being serviced, our position can be summarized thus: no one loses the house they inhabit, but no one is made a gift of the house they owe money for. A similar approach will be followed for small personal debts of households.

66. Environment and growth

  • To promote environmental awareness, education and sensitisation through systematic dialogue and participatory procedures which will soften the social acceptance problems many development ideas face. These campaigns will also increase social cohesion, lessening anti-environment or anti-social behaviour.

67. Alternative sources of energy

  • To move immediately to an electricity provision system with zero emissions, based on renewable sources and the rational use of energy.
  • The energy sector can be the main development lever to overcome the crisis. An energy strategy is an essential tool both to safeguard supply and to deal with climate change. Our country’s international environmental obligations and the goals we have committed demand that we decisively promote wind farms which are the most mature technology, and, at the same time, suspend procedures to deploy new lignite-fuelled power stations.

68. How shall we treat waste?

  • Sustainable waste management is a priority, not just to reduce pollution and to protect public health, but also because it is a dynamic part of the economy, which contributes to more employment and to reducing the use of natural resources. The way forward is well known: prevention programmes to avoid generating waste, increasing recycling and composting (or even anaerobic processing), sorting at the source, effective collection of recyclable material/residues and a drastic reduction in waste burial and mechanical processing. In Greece our top priority is the definitive closure and rehabilitation of unsanitised landfills.

  • Social participation is necessary and can be significantly reinforced through social entrepreneurship. The private sector has a great contribution to make to the waste management chain especially as concerns effective separation/collection and the re-utilisation of useful materials.

  • According to the European Commission, we need to change policy: to gradually abandon expensive and hopeless solutions such as mechanical processing plants and big burial facilities and decisively promote waste utilisation.

  • Technology provides solutions, such as energy generating thermal waste treatment. Modern treatment plants are not in any way similar to sanitised or uncontrolled landfills. To the contrary, certain facilities in Europe, like in Vienna for example, are considered landmarks, adorning the cities which have the fortune or the brains to host them. But for this to happen, first we must sort at the source.

  • The contribution of local government, supported by central bodies such as the Hellenic Solid Waste Management Association, the Regional Authority and the Energy Ministry is of crucial importance. Municipalities are able to implement prevention and recycling programmes with sorting at the source, can install brown bins for the collection of sorted pure organic matter, construct composting facilities and set up “green points” for the collection of sorted useful materials.

  • At the regional level we propose the construction of the necessary central waste treatment facilities (mechanical/biological treatment), as a midterm solution which will reduce burial; this must be implemented in a way which will protect public interest and not undermine sorting at the source, recycling and composting. Perhaps, it would be useful to implement schemes such as the “I pay for what I throw away” programme and charge a fair price to households and companies which produce waste.

69. Water Resources

  • Our country has sufficient water resources but, at the same time, suffers from water scarcity and saltwater intrusion.

  • To draft a national strategy which will manage Greek water resources in a rational and sustainable manner. We must adopt measures to replace all open irrigation ditches with closed conduit networks and install improved, low-pressure irrigation systems.

70. Cities to live in

  • We tend to consider our home, our office, our car as “our space”. We do not consider that public spaces in our cities, where there is great need for green and open areas, belong to us. We need to redefine our relationship with public spaces and decide that we want a viable urban environment for our cities.

  • To use public means of transport and ride bicycles (with the necessary training and infrastructure); to create open spaces through public land exchange schemes. A city with a viable urban environment improves the quality of life of all inhabitants; it is an investment in social cohesion and in the proper functioning of the city, which are the pre-conditions for economic growth.

71. Unlicensed construction is killing the landscape

  • To designate natural and cultural landscapes as protected areas; apply conservation measures and adopt a focused tourism development policy which will preserve and at the same time showcase Greek landscapes.

  • To adopt a coherent building policy for holiday homes. The sprawl of holiday home construction is degrading the landscape.

  • Small islands are suitable places to develop sustainability programmes and promote projects in the sectors of energy, waste, water, traditional housing/activities, and land and landscape use.

  • Let us never again launch legalisation schemes for illegal constructions; let us demolish any offensive buildings on coastal and mountainous regions and make an example of them.

72. Forests, national parks and nature reserves

  • To draft a national strategy for forests which will manage and exploit the forest resources of Greece in a rational manner and in accordance with the principle of sustainability; at the same time we need to staff, fund and restructure the forestry services.

  • To immediately finalise forest maps and the forest cadastre, as stipulated in the existing legal framework.

  • In many cases, designating national parks and nature reserves only results in loss making managing bodies. If we do not undertake to protect areas of unsurpassable beauty in a serious and organised manner, then, over the next few years we will mourn the loss of fauna and the scarce number of visitors. We will not be able to take pride in their special landscape and in the way we enhanced their value, following the principles of sustainable development.

73. A policy for culture

  • To set up a new Ministry for Culture which will listen to the past but will talk to the future, will promote new ideas, trends and ways of thinking. The policy of this new ministry must focus on quality of life, the preservation and promotion of our vast heritage but also support contemporary artistic production; this policy will protect and promote art in all its forms and guarantee access to art.

  • To cross reference culture policy to education. Culture does not exist without education, just as there is no education without culture. Culture is generated through art and both together provide citizens with lifelong education. A policy for culture can and must reinforce touristic and economic growth and promote the image of Greece throughout the world.

74. An independent Arts Council

  • To establish an independent Arts Council which will be composed of illustrious individuals from the spheres of education, art and culture. It will contribute to cultural policy by appointing directors to cultural bodies and agencies upon assessment of the projects proposed by the candidates; it will propose whenever necessary the creation of new bodies and the closure of others. It will assess the proposals of any private body asking for a state subsidy and encourage cultural dialogue inside the country and abroad. It will also serve as a permanent evaluation body for state cultural organisations.

75. Getting rid of party cronyism in arts organisations.

  • To decouple all arts organisations from parties. Staff and art directors to be appointed on the basis of merit and not party affiliation. The proposed Arts Council will play a decisive role in the selection of directors. Of course we support strong arts directors who have the artistic clout to forge a distinctive identity for the organisation they lead, but they must remain under permanent assessment. Withdrawing them from their position must be an option in the case of repeated or continuous inefficacy.

76. Conversion of Municipal and Regional Theatres (ΔΗ.ΠΕ.ΘΕ) into small, flexible national theatres.

  • For some time now, Municipal and Regional Theatres (ΔΗ.ΠΕ.ΘΕ ) have been losing prestige. They are a key element in cultural decentralisation and they have utterly lost their good name. Municipal leaders and local moguls used these theatres to fix up their own people. Limited exceptions only prove this rule.

  • To convert municipal and regional theatres into flexible national theatres, funded by the Ministry of Culture and of course by ticket sales and sponsoring. Their performance will be judged by the Arts Council. Their goal will be to continuously cultivate the public through theatre performances and other high quality cultural events. They will promote and present their work locally and across the country and try to also take part in festivals abroad. To remain in operation they must satisfy one main condition: to present at least one theatrical performance at another national theatre. This way, the number of spectacles performed in each of these theatres will multiply, to the obvious spiritual benefit of the public.

77. To establish a Theatre, Cinema and Dance Faculty at the School of Fine Arts

  • A faculty dedicated to artistic creation along the lines of the School of Fine Arts. Greece lags behind other European countries in education exclusively dedicated to the arts, especially in the as far as theatre, the cinema and dance are concerned. This faculty will contain a department specifically dedicated to theatre direction, to satisfy a longstanding demand of theatre directors. Art as a whole enshrines and develops democracy. Young artists must be offered a thorough education so as to serve their high calling in the best possible way. Our county has the potential to create top quality education in the Arts.

78. Festivals and cultural outreach

  • To create an international ancient drama festival at Epidaurus, under the auspices of Greek Festival PLC with foreign performances of ancient drama, symposia, conferences, directors and actors workshops, which will turn Epidaurus into an international hub over the summer months. Following this line, the Arts Council will propose other international thematic festivals which will encourage outreach and help promote and upgrade tourism, to the immediate benefit of the economy.

  • To pay special attention to co-productions with foreign counterparts, and to the promotion of exhibitions, performances, literary and art projects outside our borders; we must create the institutional framework which will boost film productions and other arts projects in our country, by Greeks and foreigners alike.

  • To consider culture as part of our country's investment policy .We must offer incentives to revive sponsoring. Sponsors can play a decisive role in financially supporting big cultural events.

79. To connect culture to education

  • To connect culture to education and civics. In developed societies education encourages the aesthetical refinement of individuals. A citizen sensitive to aesthetics is, potentially, the creator of a better world. The main objectives of an education which progresses hand in hand with aesthetics and culture are protecting nature and animals, defending the rules of peaceful coexistence and improving our cities.

  • Art contributes to learning and development in children, in helping them understand the world, history, tradition, and also our differences; it encourages critical thought, personal expression, creativity and innovation.

  • Access to art and knowledge are part of children’s inalienable rights. This is why Potami proposes enriching the curriculum at all educational levels with all necessary cultural experiences, through the coordinated action of educational and cultural bodies. Our objective is to support and reinforce cultural associations which desire to develop programmes specifically tailored for children and young people.

80. Sports for all

  • Sport is a basic social good for all ages and all social classes. Potami believes that a country’s success in sport must not be judged on the number of medals won at the Olympic Games, but on what percentage of its population more or less systematically practices sport. However, competition-level sports and a society which practices sport are communicating jars, which replenish each other. Αs funds are finite, we must strike the right balance when allocating financing.
  • To ensure that every euro which is spent on sport will provide some benefit and not end up in “rubber stamp” associations, useless facilities or “inflated” administrative costs. Every euro we pay for sport is a long term investment and must not be considered as expenditure. Our goal as a society is to increase the amount of sport we practice in comparison to the sport we “consume”.
  • To define the maximum number of terms to be served at the presidency of sports federations (two or, maximum, three terms). Consolidation, accountability of federations, freedom from party dependence. Evaluation and support to healthy associations which offer a real service and are the genuine cells of Greek sports. Funding based on objective, measurable and verifiable criteria. Incentives for neighbouring sports associations to merge.

  • To take stock of the advantages offered by sports tourism, which in Greece has great growth potential.

81. Europe is our home.

  • The great vision of European integration must follow a targeted federal direction, which will respect – and will emanate – from the autonomy of each country-unit. The objective cannot be dominion by a central, uncontrolled elite. We concede part of our rights, so that we all become equal and find strength in numbers. We do not concede our rights to make third parties stronger.

  • Europe needs less red tape, more democracy, scrupulous award of justice and the structured participation of citizens in decision making centres.

  • The challenge for Greece is to upgrade the quality of our participation in the European Union. We bear responsibilities and obligations to help change the course of the EU, to reinforce democracy and the credibility of Europe’s institutional bodies. We do not deserve and do not benefit from playing the role of the “problematic partner” of the Union. We do not see ourselves reflected in the role of a partner entrenched in his little Balkan world.

  • We choose the path of multilateral alliances with all member states and democratic political forces so as to promote our common objectives and common interests, without blinkers or exceptions. We see Europe as an area of open, continuous negotiations which aims to achieve forward looking compromise, to reach our common goals. We will try to defend the specific priorities of our country through these alliances and compromises. We are neither naive, nor blackmailers.

  • Our European membership is a weapon which bolsters our position on the world political stage, in an endless world of give and take, cooperation and conflict of interests.

82. A realistic foreign policy

  • When discussing foreign policy, modern states have in mind their financial interests abroad. Their exports, trade, energy and security. For Greece, the economy is an existentialist bet we need to win. Increasing exports and entrepreneurship abroad are a crucial national issue to us. If we are defeated as an economy, we will also be defeated as a nation.

  • To reject using foreign policy for internal consumption political games. We do not like political games. We are interested in politics which benefit our country. The name of Skopje is a typical example of politicians harming national interest for rabble rousing reasons. Currently, we are fighting to enshrine the composite name which we were offered in the past and rejected.

  • To reform foreign policy. We are not interested in playing the role of a disreputable marginal “quarrelsome” state. We do not want our children to inherit an even greater number of unsolvable national issues. The economic crisis is enough. We want to solve the issues which are possible to settle without mortgaging national interest and deliver a country surrounded by friends and not enemies.

  • Neither threats nor complaisance. Our objective is to defend the interests of the country according to a plan, in a knowledgeable, stable, reasonable way; through dialogue and cooperation. Such a position will enable us to put to use our European advantage and ensure the active solidarity of our partners.

  • To upgrade the National Foreign Policy Council by turning it into a National Foreign and Defence Policy Council. This proposed Council will be placed directly under the prime minister and meet at the level of political leaders with the participation of the Foreign Minister and the Chiefs of the Hellenic National General Staff and the National Intelligence Service.

  • To create a permanent undersecretary for foreign affairs. The appointment will be made through an open competition, preferably selecting a person from the top ranks of the Diplomatic Service. Ambassadors-at-large appointed by the political leadership will be excluded from this position.

83. Cyprus, a beacon of stability in the eastern Mediterranean.

  • Our fixed objective is to settle the issue of Cyprus through the continuation of talks between the two sides. Right now, the situation is at its most critical point since 2004. We are looking for a solution which will derive from the decisions of the UN and will be fair, viable, in compliance with EU legislation and the “community acquis”. Holding a referendum will serve as a real safety valve.
  • Greece will stand by Cyprus, and use up all its reserves of political-diplomatic capital. The economy as well as the country’s prestige and credibility are the basic parameters which underpin “negotiating power”.

  • The fluidity and uncertainty reigning in the broader area of the Middle East strengthen the geopolitical and energy importance of Cyprus and Greece. The Republic of Cyprus helps stabilise the region through the agreements signed with its neighbouring countries on the exploitation of underwater wealth in accordance with International Law. These agreements will provide the eastern Mediterranean with a better future and ensure the energy security of Europe.

  • We call upon Turkey to side with stability in the region, and thus confirm its European orientation, avoiding provocative actions and recognising the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.

  • Our EU partners must understand that the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus is not just the easternmost economic zone of the EU, but also the furthermost bastion of European security.

84. Turkey: let’s come to an understanding

  • After fifteen years of greek-turkish approximation, the general impression is that few steps have been taken.

  • To reinforce communication between the two countries by setting up a mechanism for regular and extraordinary meetings twice a year and appoint a “Greek Special Envoy for Turkey” (not necessarily a politician), following the French example.

  • To build bridges to those in Turkey looking to the West (students, scientists, the young).

  • As far as our relations with Turkey are concerned, we claim the respect of bilateral Treaties, chiefly the Treaty of Lausanne, international treaties and the UN Charter. If two countries desire to live in peace as neighbours, allies and friends, then the Turkish government must not brandish its power and that monstrosity of international law, the "casus belli" on a daily basis in the Aegean.

  • Turkey’s European perspective, which Greece supports steadfastly, depends on Turkey’s willingness to embrace in practice and with no discounts the totality of its commitments; this includes a code of conduct which was voluntarily accepted in October 2005.

  • Turkey must offer official recognition - and not just opportunistic statements - of the rights of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

85. Skopje: We solve the problem and both sides win

  • To find an immediate solution to the problem. This will benefit both countries economically and politically and increase stability in the region.

  • To support the national line, which is a single name for all usage which will include the term Macedonia, but carrying a specific modifier which will differentiate it from Greek Macedonia.

  • Skopje must be called upon to chose: do they want to become members of the European family, or do they want to remain in isolation? If they chose the first option, then let them know that the path to Europe passes through Athens.

86. A single European response to the issue of immigration

  • Migration is a world phenomenon in constant evolution. It is not a problem which has an automatic and definitive solution. The views of either zero immigration or mass admission of immigrants are not realistic and destabilise both countries of origin and countries of transit and final destination.
  • The problem of immigration is not Greek; it is European. It needs to be managed by Europe in accordance with the principles of solidarity and a fair allocation of burden. Greece cannot be punished because of its geographical position.

  • Safeguarding the external borders of the EU must be the responsibility of Europe as a whole, with all this involves in operational planning and material infrastructure. The EU must oblige intermediate transit countries to respect their commitments and not remain indifferent to the slave trade which takes place on their territory, even if this involves threatening sanctions.

  • To set up a Greek immigration coordination body which will coordinate state services and ministries and will save money.

  • Internal immigration policy is based on the following pillars:

  1. international protection (asylum) to those entitled.

  2. combating illegal immigration

  3. promotion of legal immigration,

  4. social integration of immigrants

87. Europe is a safe haven for those persecuted

  • To protect people in need, who are refugees and leave their countries to save their lives. Refuge must be offered to them in Europe. Not exclusively in Greece.

  • To substitute Dublin III, by a fully fledged Joint European Asylum System, which will make provision for a Joint European Asylum Agency and will distribute refugees across all member states taking into account their individual specific needs and at the same time the integration potential of each member state.

  • To submit asylum applications directly to the EU and not to a specific EU member state.

  • To use European funds to construct reception facilities for asylum applicants and guarantee respectable living conditions until their asylum application is accepted or rejected. The Greek Asylum Service must be further reinforced to ensure a rapid and fair processing of asylum claims.

  • To process as soon as possible the tens of thousands of asylum applications which are pending at the Public Order Ministry, at first and second instance.

  • To return, with the help of the EU, asylum seekers whose applications are rejected. Europe must make use of the special weight it has due to the development aid it provides to countries of origin of immigrants, and apply pressure so that they accept back all their citizens who are illegally in the EU, in accordance with international law and the readmission agreements they have signed.

88. By combating illegal immigration we protect both immigrants and our country.

  • Uncontrolled exit from the country of origin, wandering around and illegal entry are dangerous for immigrants themselves and harmful for their country of temporary or permanent destination, such as Greece.
  • Greece, following the example of Italy under Prime Minister Renzi, in coordination with Italy and other partners, must demand a more substantial role for Frontex in controlling European external borders. To protect Greek maritime borders requires over 5 million euro of national funds per month, which is the amount Frontex contributes over one year.

  • The EU must follow the example of Australia and other states and develop information and awareness campaigns on the dangers of the journey and real conditions in reception countries. The goal is to deter people before they set off on their journey and protect them from the false promises of smugglers and slave traders.

  • Sentences for smugglers and slave traders must be annihilating. Our proposal is that the current maximum sentence of ten years be increased to life imprisonment.

  • To control and register immigrants who are in the country without a legal reason, either because they entered illegally, or because their legal reason for entry has expired.

  • To provide more and better reception centres for non legal immigrants. The country has failed to absorb the European funds available and comply with its EU commitments. There are even European countries which are willing to co-finance the construction of such facilities (Norway and the UK).

  • The return of immigrants to countries of transit and origin through voluntary or forced readmission, return or extradition procedures is already carried out in cooperation with international bodies (IMO, UNHCR); however, coordinated pressure is required from the EU for third countries to accept, as obliged by international law, their returning citizens if they have not been granted refugee status.

89. Legal immigration means legal employment

  • To accept as many legal immigrants as we can feed. To constantly record the requirements of the domestic labour market in skilled and unskilled employees, so as to know where people are needed.

  • To ensure immigrants arrive legally, either within the framework of a bilateral agreement, or in the framework of EU treaties with third countries, via invitation or for cyclical/ seasonal employment, as stipulated in EU policy.

  • To guarantee legal immigrants have documents, employment and health insurance and do not fall victim to exploitation. They return to their countries when their job is over, if their employment is seasonal.

  • To apply strict controls on the labour market to combat the undeclared, uninsured employment of immigrants. We must make it easy for immigrants to lodge complaints against undeclared work networks; the authorities must offer sufficient protection from violence and arbitrariness.

90. Integration: Immigrants are part of our society

  • To accomplish the social, economic and political integration of immigrants. Becoming truly part of Greek society is achieved through learning Greek and becoming familiar with the basic principles and values of Greek and western culture.

  • To implement social policy measures on health, insurance and housing of immigrants. We must guarantee access to health and education to immigrants and refugees.

  • To furnish all cities with a plan for the social integration of immigrants and refugees which will depend on a city’s size and local specific characteristics. For example, constructing small, open hospitality facilities for immigrants and refugees in various areas and cities, so as not to burden just one neighbourhood. There are European funds available which are being lost because ministries cannot agree with each other.

  • To have local government monitor the living conditions of immigrants in neighbourhoods and avoid third world conditions (with thousands of immigrants squeezed in the basements of apartment houses).

  • To ensure that immigrants who want to stay in Greece learn the language in state schools and accept the ecumenical values and fundamental rights of Greece and the European Union.

  • To oblige adults to attend state language-learning schools and to send their children to school; this is a precondition for legalisation and residence in the country as a family.

  • Potami clearly states that immigrants’ children living and growing up in Greece may, if they so desire, acquire Greek citizenship. This is granted after a series of formal and material parameters are examined. Looking into each individual case separately is the fundamental prerequisite. The formal prerequisites are: attending the Greek education system (nine years) or having reached 18 years of age and having spent six years in the Greek secondary school system, independently of place of birth.

91. Penitentiaries are converted into reform workshops

  • The objective of sentencing, apart from awarding justice, is reform not revenge. However, in the current prison environment, this concept is absent. Inmate reformation must be quantifiable.
  • To readjust the prison environment so as to make productive use of the term of imprisonment and prepare prisoners for their reinsertion in society.

  • To decongest prisons urgently. Alternative ways to serve sentence such as rehabilitative justice (with satisfaction of the victim by the perpetrator and the avoidance of trial as implemented in countries of central and western Europe), and extensive implementation of supervised community service schemes (whereby prisoners receive a suspended sentence while doing community service under the supervision and evaluation of a parole officer) will lead to decongestion and a change in the philosophy of sentencing.

  • To readjust the prison environment so as to make productive use of the term of imprisonment and prepare prisoners for their reinsertion in society.

92. Rural penitentiaries to be converted into integrated agricultural holdings.

  • To modernise the agricultural holdings of rural penitentiaries, such as the one in Kassandra, following the principles of sustainable growth, so as to produce quality products using innovative cultivation techniques. This will result in financial autonomy, cover the needs of prisoners with quality goods, train prisoners in new techniques and facilitate reinsertion. At the same time, we will create a modern rural prison which is financially independent and which will serve multiple social objectives, with the assistance of students from the Agronomy Faculty and unemployed agronomists.

  • To process and package all products destined to be sold outside the prisons offering as much added value as possible; to achieve top prices, these products must be certified as high quality, which means as organic or at least integrated management (Agro, Global gap).

93. A Council for National Military Strategy

  • To appoint a member of the Armed Forces as a fixed-term undersecretary for defence with competences on issues requiring long term planning and follow-up.

  • To set up a “Council for National Military Strategy”, to which we will appoint the most competent retired officers, namely the most recently retired Chiefs of HNDGS and 2-3 chiefs from each general staff (Army, Navy and Air force). The current Chiefs of Staff will also be appointed to this Council. When one of the Chiefs of Staff retires from active duty, he automatically becomes a member of the Council and his longest serving counterpart resigns from it. The Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (ΚΥΣΕΑ) will continue to approve and amend projects but all proposals and background information will be recorded and filed. The objective is to expose any amendment on, for example, armaments procurement or other issues which serve personal or party interests; the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (ΚΥΣΕΑ) and/or the Minister will have to explain and document any amendment, and the arguments presented will be recorded and filed together with the original proposal.
  • To establish a Council for National Military Strategy so as to ensure long term planning and make use of the accrued, multiannual and multilevel knowledge and experience of the most competent, senior personnel of all three branches of the Armed Forces. It will enable us to adjust rapidly to the frequent changes of a constantly evolving environment; it will foster better/more appropriate armaments programmes, which will ensure maximum results with minimum sacrifices. The Council will draft an integrated, comprehensive military strategy which will carry “special weight” for obvious reasons as it will combine numerous different views through which the best solution will emerge.

94. To rationalise military structures

  • To follow on from the proposal above, we must draft a study on the structure of the Armed Forces which will start at the bottom, take stock of real needs and set up Armed Forces which are able to deter and, if required, successfully handle clearly defined threats to our sovereign rights.

  • To use this procedure to establish real needs in personnel and, depending on these needs, define the length of compulsory military service. This is an extremely important issue which influences the battle-readiness of our Armed Forces and also the lives of our children and our society; there is no margin for improvisation. Military service must be as short as possible and its duration fully justified.

95. Armed Forces Personnel

  • The Armed Forces are an anthropocentric body; we need to pay more attention to personnel issues such as justice and promote the worthy, both in the case of permanent staff and in the case of conscripts, who for 9 to 12 months are asked to put aside their dreams and serve their country.

  • To set out specific, clearly defined, formal procedures and processes which will guarantee transfers and promotions upon merit and not content ourselves with a mere wish list.

  • Military personnel are a special category of civil servants and must be remunerated in relation to the difficulties and risks they face as part of their jobs. It is not reasonable for a Chief of the Armed Forces to be paid a lower salary than a Judge who presides at a provincial court of first instance. Financial allowances must make provision for the housing problems of personnel who need to move city every 2 to 3 years, accompanied by their families, often to areas where housing offer does not cover demand, and rents are extremely high.
  • To make special provision for conscripts who are called upon to serve their country and leave behind families facing serious financial difficulties. Those who are not well off must be offered free of charge travel every time they go on leave and must receive a commensurable monthly salary.

96. Armaments programmes

  • To design armaments programmes which derive from National Military Strategy, as described in proposals 93 and 94. They must be implemented in a way which will ensure the largest possible return for the smallest possible cost.

  • To bring down defence spending so as to benefit the economy. This can be achieved by combating corruption and developing the domestic design and production of defence systems. The objective of armaments programmes is to armour-plate the country, not to benefit corrupt party mechanisms.

97. The Defence industry

  • To grant domestic industry the necessary time to prepare and participate in supplies tenders.

  • The domestic industry is of strategic importance to the country and the economy because of the high defence spending Greece has to bear. Developing the defence industry further will contribute positively to the Greek economy.
  • To evaluate existing production facilities which are currently state-owned and ensure their viability as part of either the public or private sector. The privatisation of the defence industry will not result in zero control by the army, or in the loss of confidential information

  • To reinforce research in defence technology; this will help us cut costs and develop domestic production.

98. To use the real-estate assets of the Armed Forces

  • To swiftly complete efforts to put to use the Armed Forces’ real estate assets, once they have all been brought under the single National Defence Fund. The delay to do so has been inexcusably long.

  • To foresee the possibility of conceding part of these assets to local communities (municipalities), to create parks and green spaces, with a development clause attached, so that the images of abandoned military camps given over to municipalities in the past never recur.

  • This proposal presents a perhaps unique opportunity to solve the housing problem of military personnel and to maintain existing military camps without burdening the state budget.

  • To give over the land freed up in the countryside to other usage which requires big single tracts of land, such as model cooperative organic agricultural holdings, vineyards, energy parks etc.

99. Road safety

  • The primary cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 29 is road accidents. It is the second cause of death for children from 4 to 15 years and the third for those in the under 44 age group. Continental (Sterea) Greece, the Peloponnese and Western Greece are the three most dangerous regions in Europe; five more of our country’s regions: Epirus, the Southern Aegean, Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Thessaly and Western Macedonia are also in the top twenty list. Greece must stop losing its children to the tarmac, a tragedy which costs 2% of the country’s GDP.

  • To make immediate use of European funds to upgrade the road network and to implement educational programmes for all students, so that future generations show better traffic behaviour.

  • To implement an unimpeachable driving test system and provide aspiring drivers with a top quality training programme.