Two news items featured today by Ta Nea underline the fact that the country’s basic problem is a lack of trustworthiness, as the president of the Hellenic Federation of Businesses reminded us.

Theodoros Fessas underlined the tendency of political parties to stress social benefits and handouts – a practice which likely will continue until the elections – instead of reforms. “All politicians, on both sides [the two largest political parties] are distributing money which does not exist,” he said.

Two Greek businessmen pinpointed the problem in their accounts of the incredible bureaucratic obstacles they faced in their efforts to invest. One of them has experience from both Greece and Cyprus, and witnessed the huge difference in the mentalities of the two countries. What they are saying is that the investment environment in Greece does not inspire trust.

Can a country lure foreign investors in this manner? Can the country emit a message of stability to markets when the political class, in contrast to the citizenry, appears to have learned nothing from the errors of the past and the eight-year crisis?

No economy can recovery when a lack of trust prevails, and when the economy does not recover, new jobs cannot be created.

In other words, we are not seeing what should have been a national imperative for the country and the political system.