The American saying that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks is well known. In Greece, however, the adage was disproven.

Those parties which were condemned by the government as constituting the “old” political system left their old bad habits behind, and the “new regime” copied all those habits in a bid to ensure its political survival.

Applying the adage to Greek political life, one sees that Pasok and New Democracy appear to have understood that one of the key causes of the economic crisis were the untrammeled electoral pledges and endless promises.

They realised that no state can prosper if it acts solely as an employer and tax collector – if it taxes in order to hire, thus creating three classes in the labour force: the privileged, the non-privileged, and the unemployed.

The SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government copied every single one of the ills with which post-dictatorship Greek democracy was fraught. It is pledging right and left to hire people in an effort to lure the many who are anxious about their future.

In that context, it is choking the healthy part of the private sector which could have created new jobs.

That is where a Greek adage comes in. When you hear stories of a cherry grove, go with a small basket. Until now, that saying has never been belied.