Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Decentralisation: a One-to-many Relationship. The Case of Greece

Photis, Yorgos N. and Koutsopoulos, Kostis (1996): Decentralisation: a One-to-many Relationship. The Case of Greece. Published in: Book Mediterranean Multiregionality. Regional Analysis and Planning in the Mediterranean Regions (1996): pp. 144-155.

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Abstract

There is no doubt that even a cursory examination of the indisputable efforts for decentralization in Greece, will reveal that the main problem lies within the ever expanding bureaucratic labyrinth of its political decision making processes and the underlying political and administrative system that generates and supports them. In short, this political system seems to strive for inclusiveness and broad acceptance, rather than theoretical consistency or elegance, setting the government incapable to play a truly coordinating role and exhibit the admistrative wisdom that it implies. Seeking in this respect, to accommodate new demands as they emerge by means, insofar as possible, that leave previous arrangements (programs and administrative regulations) undisturbed, which in turn involve the least possible disruption for public enterprises, as well as the least possible inconvenience and annoyance for institutions and individuals alike, who have built their life styles around the expectation of system stability. However, in terms of its administrative system, Greece has the same characteristics and problems with most of the Mediterranean European Countries. Consequently, the potential of future decentralization policies in a regional level, as they are expressed by either the elimination of regional disparities or the formulation of regional restructuring strategies, should be seen with respect to the extended political framework within which they have to be implemented. In our study, this is defined as the Mediterranean frontier. Within this framework, this paper reviews the historical course and critically presents the results of the proclaimed decentralization efforts in Greece. Specifically, certain political and socioeconomic indicators are utilized, in order both to micro evaluate the regional disparities within the country and to generate a parallel macro comparison with the other Mediterranean member states of the European Union.

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