George A. Papandreou (born June 16, 1952) is Former Prime Minister of Greece, current President of Socialist International, a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and former President of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). He served as the 11th Prime Minister of Greece from October 6, 2009 - November 11, 2011, after PASOK’s victory in the October 2009 national elections.

George A. Papandreou

We Need a Fourth Branch of Government | NYT Opinion 08.10.2019

On IWD2019 | 08.03.2019

On the passing of Jalal Talabani | 03.10.2017

Success in Cyprus will help peace in wider region | 19.04.2016

Cem-Papandreou Peace Award 2015 speech | 21.07.2015

SI Statement on Greece | An Appeal to European Leaders | 05.07.2015

Socialist International President George A. Papandreou: “Save Palmyra” | 22.05.2015

 

Debate on Public Administration

Speech at the Parliament’s pre-Agenda debate on Public Administration (Abstracts)

«… Our state is two centuries old. Only within the last 20 years, to which you insist to refer, have we seen a social welfare system operate. This was a system of objective hiring: local authorities. Only in this last 20 years we can speak of a lawful state with true democracy.

Today we speak about Public Administration. A lot and important changes have taken place. Have they been all good? Certainly not; despite the sincere efforts of many of us we still see phenomena of bureaucracy, of corruption, of in-transparency, of multileveled decisions, of lack of coordination, of centralization – citizens suffer from all these still.

We have the courage to recognize problems, to learn and change. We do not have any problem to face the truth, since it is the truth that makes us stronger.

I and we collectively set the bases for a new policy in the life of this country and in our party. This fills you up with fear. You are afraid because you think that you can hide your own policy living in secret in the past. You are afraid and this is why you always turn any discussion about present and future into a debate about the past, into questions regarding the past of PASOK. We offer you the gift of occupying yourselves with the past. Today, we are going to speak about your present and the future of this country.

What do you do today? The country needs a new developmental and regional structure in a broadened Europe. This is our proposal. You stated that you shall change nothing, you observe as spectators, weak in front of developments.

Our country needs a new wave of decentralization and funds directed towards local administration. This is our proposal. You are dealing with slight mending repairs, Mr Karamanlis, the ones that are “stolen from PASOK” that you promised to local authorities.

The country needs a new Kapodistrias so that Municipalities are strengthened. This is our proposal. You, still, in your program speak about referendums that will destroy even existing Municipalities of the Kapodistrias Network.

Our country needs essential democratization in the sectors of both Justice and Church, a true foundation of their autonomy and a real social accountability. This is our proposal. You select imposing your party view and your protectionism.

… Development. Development exists only a minister exists wishing to help one’s prefecture and voters. Quality of services: how can you promote it without meritocracy and relevant selections? Decentralization: can you realize decentralization when you wish to control everything? You concentrate powers so as to let your agents and factors work locally. Corruption is part of transaction – which is based on clientele relations. Education: you nullify education, training, because you make young people say “why do I need education? I need to be linked to the party in order to find a job”.

What are the consequences of such views? You cultivate via this un- democratic way an unjust and unfair society, since you give privilege to the few instead of providing rights to all. You do not speak about citizens but about clients. This is an unjust and unequal class politics.

… Which was the peak moment for Public Administration that proved that we can be amidst the most modern countries in the world? The Olympic Games of 2004 were this moment, when a core of know- how and human recourses managed to fertilize current Public Administration. But here, again, you scattered this knowledge and these human resources. You, once again, lost this major historic opportunity.

And let us now come to our party, to our Movement. A State that can respond to the current needs of citizens has to be staffed and navigate towards development. It should promote increase of produced wealth and guarantee just distribution of wealth. It should be decentralized and have a simple and clear structure. Few ministries should exist with main mission to produce and follow up public policies of our country, free from any local and regional competencies.

Implementation of policies and execution of governmental decisions basically belong to the regions via decentralized services and self-managed institutions.

We have to trust Administration. We support self- regulation and social accountability. Special matters have to go to the local communities, they have to take responsibility, they have to have resources and we have to create reliable and efficient control mechanisms of the state. There is no other way.

I wish to be clear as for how public interest is secured. It is neither inefficient instrument that dogmatically insists on public property and implements bad quality policies in the framework of an infertile prevalence of the state nor the sale of public property to private interests that secures public interests.

… Unfortunately you, with your logic of clientele, made this happen: the hope that you actually had managed to raise to the Greek people turned into a question and then into a suspicion and then into an observation and now into a confirmation of their suspicion. But now everything is revealed. Not only are you conservative but you try to create a conservative regime under the term “re- establishment of the State”…”

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