Why One of World's Best Economics Scholars Is Terrible Politician

Novinite Insider » EDITORIAL | Author: Ivan Dikov |March 22, 2011, Tuesday // 04:29| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Why One of World's Best Economics Scholars Is Terrible Politician

The tragedy of Simeon Djankov (a former senior World Bank economist and one of the world's most renowned scholars of economic sciences, and now the technocratic Minister of Finance and the Deputy PM in charge of the economy in the center-right Bulgarian government of PM Boyko Borisov and the GERB party) is becoming increasingly clear.

While he seems to be doing a decent job on Bulgaria's macroeconomic stability, he is terrible at being a "politician", i.e. at selling his policies and buying public support – to the extent that his public image threatens to ruin any chance of political longevity for Borisov and GERB.

This goes for pretty much everything - all the way from his hawkish Anglo-Saxon attitude towards science, research and development (which would be awesome if there was any way to apply it in a "SOUTH"-"EAST"-"EUROPEAN" country at this point) to his failure to understand that in a post-communist country with a huge population of pensioners you don't go out broadcasting every other week that there will be no pension and salary increases.

It is dirty populism and a lame trick but the former communists have been doing it in Bulgaria all the time – pension hikes and handing out Christmas bonuses, albeit meager ones. It's that easy to delude the Bulgarian voters. Even empty promises will work better than harsh unpopular statements.

Perhaps it's a good idea for Djankov to start doing the same – even at the expense of some other state expenditures – if he wants to be a minister of finance at least long enough to test his "Financial Stability Pact" initiative in practice.

The follow-up of this commentary READ HERE

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Tags: finance minister, Simeon Djankov, pensions, pensioners, Financial Stability Pact, populism
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