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After AusterityWelfare State Transformation in Europe after the Great Recession$
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Peter Taylor-Gooby, Benjamin Leruth, and Heejung Chung

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198790266.001.0001

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Welfare Reform in Greece

Welfare Reform in Greece

A Major Crisis, Crippling Debt Conditions and Stark Challenges Ahead

(p.155) 8 Welfare Reform in Greece
After Austerity

Maria Petmesidou

Oxford University Press

Greece developed a pension-heavy, clientelist, hybrid Mediterranean welfare state with many gaps in coverage. The global financial crisis of 2008 triggered a severe sovereign debt crisis, compelling the country to accept three bailout packages with stringent conditions as to spending cuts, privatization, and openness to international competition. Severe austerity has caused a protracted recession: the economy lost more than a quarter of its GDP between 2008 and 2015. The Mediterranean refugee crisis impacted severely on the country. New parties of the extreme left (SYRIZA) and extreme right (Golden Dawn) have gained support. SYRIZA was elected on an anti-austerity platform but failed to deliver and a fourth rescue package is under negotiation. The more likely future direction consists in an ever-tighter austerity programme with the immizeration of large sections of the population. A move towards neo-Keynesian intervention and social investment seems unlikely, given the level of debt and the bailout conditions.

Keywords:   Greece, crisis, austerity, troika, bailout, fightback, neo-liberalism, neo-Keynesianism, welfare state, immigration

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