Since the late 1970s, when growth rates were still high and public deficits and public debt were low, Greek governments have embarked on unsustainable spending booms. Towards the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, when the inevitable downturn arrived, Greek governments were resisting retrenchment. In addition, the state's effectiveness and efficiency has been poor for many years. Although necessary, economic and structural reforms were not imposed. It is only recently that public authorities undertook wide-scale economic and structural reforms.