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The Greek welfare state in the age of austerity: anti-social policy and the politico-economic crisis

Theodoros Papadopoulos and Antonios Roumpakis

in Social Policy Review 24

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781447304470
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307662 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781447304470.003.0011
The Greek welfare state in the age of austerity: anti-social policy and the politico-economic crisis

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Greece was the first of the countries in the EU periphery engulfed in the so-called sovereign debt crisis which, it is argued, is also a deeply political crisis. This multifaceted crisis has signalled the end of the post-dictatorship politico-economic regime in Greece and has raised serious questions about the direction of EU integration and the role of national democratic politics and national economic sovereignty within it. The background to the crisis is explored by discussing how multiple and mutually reinforcing causes created the ‘perfect storm’ conditions for its eruption. This is followed by a critical presentation of the key austerity and deregulatory measures adopted by the Greek government until the end of December 2011. Finally a discussion of the impact of austerity measures on the economy, welfare and society more generally, demonstrates that the measures taken thus far have reduced socio-economic security, traumatised social cohesion and sunk the Greek economy into the deepest and most prolonged recession in recent memory with detrimental effects for Greek society.

Keywords: Greece; Crisis; Austerity; Anti-social policy; Economic sovereignty

Chapter.  9301 words.  Illustrated.

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