From opportunity to austerity: crisis and social policy in Spain

Javier Ramos-Díaz and Albert Varela

in Social Policy Review 24

Published by Policy Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9781447304470
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781447307662 | DOI:
From opportunity to austerity: crisis and social policy in Spain

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Since the mid 1990s, Spain enjoyed a decade of sustained growth that appeared to give a definitive impulse to convergence with its European counterparts. The 2008 crisis, however, brought this economic miracle to a halt and exposed the shaky foundations of Spain's economic performance. The Socialist government initially saw this crisis as an opportunity to kick-start a process of economic transformation by implementing a wide-ranging stimulus package, but soon markets started targeting Spanish bonds for the country's growing public deficit, banking sector problems, lack of competitiveness and weak growth prospects. The government reacted by implementing a severe austerity programme of deficit reduction, banking sector restructuring and financial stabilisation, but these measures have proved ineffective in appeasing market pressure in the context of the Eurozone economic and governance crisis.

Keywords: Spain; Crisis; Social Policy; Austerity; Eurozone

Chapter.  8572 words.  Illustrated.

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