When he was mayor of Paros I was impressed with what Yannis Ragoussis was able to accomplish in comparison to the previous mayor. Now I am impressed with what he hopes to accomplish for the long range future of Greece government. Read previous reports here and here
While Prime Minister Papandreou is active in saving the country in the short run Interior Minister Ragoussis is working on modernizing the entire government structure. We see a lot more Turkish byzantine bureaucracy than the Greeks will ever admit to.
This is from the Athens News Agency report:
He stressed that human resources - the civil servants themselves - will
be the main focus in this drive for a reformed state, which would be
free of pockets of corruption and mismanagement.
Ragoussis said that the effort would require great political will and a
willingness to ignore political cost, given the attitudes that dominate
within the two main parties and high-ranking trade unionists concerning
the civil service and broader public sector.
One of the pillars on which the new, reformed public administration
will be based was the decision announced by the prime minister a few
days earlier to convert the status of civil servants to that of
'employees of state', breaking down the barriers between each ministry
and introducing evaluation mechanism for ministry staff.
Ragoussis noted that the more important change this introduced was not
the power to fire employees but a process of evaluation that would
reveal who was unfit to be in the civil service'. He expressed the
opinion that the simple knowledge that they would be evaluated would
prompt employees to "do their best" so that the majority would not fail
such an evaluation.
"One of the major problems of the Greek state is that there is no such
evaluation system for many years now, therefore no one ensures or has
any incentive to perform better".
It is very unusual to see such blunt language indicating that pockets of corruption and mismanagement still exist as well as resistance within is own party for reform.
Although he is a member of a Socialist government we can only wish Ragoussis well in bringing Greece that much closer to modern governance.
The photo in my first post about him is only a few years old yet he looks much older in the photo above.