A vision and roadmap for the development of a living and sustainable economy in Greece was presented by WWF Greece on 9 October 2013 in Athens. This proposal, which was reviewed by the Athens office of the Boston Consulting Group, opens a vital dialogue that never occurred in Greece, about development and the socioeconomic future of the country.
In her prologue to the roadmap, WWF’s international President Yolanda Kakabadse asserts that “[w]hile the Greek response to the crisis has already heavily impacted on the environment, now is the time for a new vision and truly sustainable reforms that may provide for a healthy economy of the future. It is WWF’s firm belief that the crisis offers a unique opportunity for the elaboration of integrated national roadmaps to sustainability – not only for Greece, but for the whole world.”
The roadmap sets out the necessary horizontal and sectoral policy reforms that can bring life to Greece’s battered economy. A development remodeling is urgently needed: good and efficient governance; clear, equitable and effectively monitored laws; taxation that boosts job creation and makes polluters pay; policies that favour ecologically sustainable investments; a participatory and solutions-driven society; a vibrant social economy. This “politeia” for sustainability should set the basis for a living real economy, which will be founded on the dynamic revival of the primary sector, industry, energy and certainly tourism.
“We have simple asks: unlimited transparency and accountability everywhere, clear legislation for all, good governance, social participation, a tourism sector that won’t destroy the very product it depends on, that is nature, the revival of rural quality production that benefits the environment, an industry with a small ecological footprint, conservation of the natural treasures of the country.
We have difficult asks: combating environmental crime, zero tolerance to corruption that plagues society and destroys the environment, shifting to public investments and policies with a positive environmental impact, full implementation of the ‘polluter pays' principle, disengagement from the development model that has brought us to the current crisis. We ask for recognition of the ecological basis of the Greek economy and condemnation of the position that nature is an obstacle to 'development'”, stated Demetres Karavellas, CEO of WWF Greece.