A crisis is an an opportunity for improvement. Hopefully over the past couple of years, we have learned more than decades of prosperity can teach us. Both firms and governments have learned that overextending themselves is not a good policy. However, I am positive that after a decade or so all these will be forgotten and new recessions will emerge. Oh well, C'est la vie. Although prudence and caution will leave us as we are plunged with more great news, what will remain as a reminiscent of these times are the reforms which will be implemented in several countries.
Most Southern countries suffer from a bureaucratic public sector, which stands in the way of actual progress in the nations. Also, the large number of individuals employed in the sector makes public expenses rise every year thus rendering them an unsustainable burden. I will use Greece as an example to observe what the reforms are doing to the country. As Prime Minister Samaras has stated, for every 10 civil servants retiring only 1 will be hired. This will lead to a phenomenal decrease of public spending for government employees and will aid in increasing productivity and efficiency in the sector.
Another sector which has traditionally been problematic in the South (except Spain) is the judiciary. Courts are infamous for taking an enormous amount of time to decide on outcomes even in relatively simple cases like speeding or car accidents. Thus, with law implementation being rather lax, small wonder that the South is lagging compared to other nations both in the EU as well as the rest of the world. Firms need stable economic as well as legislative conditions to prosper and unfortunately they, most of the times, cannot find what they seek in the South.
Bureaucracy is also an issue which aggravates the judiciary sector. When a mountain of documents is required to do something relatively simple, and electronic opportunities are relatively not employed then the whole procedure is bound to be severely delayed. If the web is used more wisely then pending issues could be solved within days.
I am sure that you have some experiences in the courts yourselves. Feel free to share them here.