The public health crisis in this first phase of the lifting of the lockdown, God willing and weather permitting as the popular saying goes, will be checked.
Within three or four weeks the economy and social life will enter a stage of relative normalcy with a gradual, conditional lifting of the tortuous measure of social distancing.
Many of the consequences of the pandemic, however, will not go away but will continue to impact on the economy and society.
Combined with the more general effects that the pandemic will have on the entire world – the upset from the international lockdown on all types of markets, geopolitical changes, and ideological-political shifts – these consequences will aggravate already bad conditions.
The common conviction is that the shock of the pandemic will leave behind rubble, over-indebted states, destroyed businesses, armies of unemployed and lower incomes, less consumption, and a recession in most countries.
The social changes will be great and will demand changes in policies internationally that were in effect just two months ago.
Liberalism will be affected by the almost totalitarian interventions of the state to manage the pandemic and the demand for a larger and more effective social state will multiply.
The sense among those who monitor international developments closely is that China will recover more rapidly than any other country.
The US due to the peculiarities and flexibility that define it will return to economic growth more quickly but will likely be tested more harshly than other country.
Indeed, there is a belief that the US will emerge from its public health crisis more aggressively demanding and there is a common conviction that if Europe does not quickly transcend its reservations and dysfunctions its recovery will be drawn out.
The prospects for Greece are not the best in such an environment.
After the pandemic it will be the EU country with the greatest public debt and the highest level of unemployment.
Athens should be satisfied if its deficit settles at the EU average. The country will pay a higher toll than others because it relies so heavily on tourism and services more generally as well as on transport and consumption.
The nexus of tourism, transport, and commerce will be tested on a variety of levels in the coming period.
That will lead to a drop in people’s income and consequently in consumption
From that vantage point it is crucial for the economy to restart under the best possible circumstances with the return of employees to their jobs and with the operation of businesses so as to limit losses to the extent possible.
Undoubtedly Greece is confronted with an economic Golgotha and everyone must realise this and behave accordingly.
It is exceptionally important that all EU funding tools be utilised in the most productive possible manner and that banks and the state contribute and exhibit flexibility.
There is no time for hesitation and there can be no toleration of dysfunctions.
The better one checks the initial phase of the gradual lifting of the lockdown the better the prospects of a recovery and a return to pre-pandemic conditions.