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From anti-social policy to generalised insecurity: The Greek crisis meets the decline of the European Social Model

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JournalSocial Policy (Greek Social Policy Association)
DatePublished - Apr 2013
Volume1
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Our article examines key aspects of the Greek crisis and explores it under the light of the ongoing decline of the European Social Model. It is argued that the austerity measures implemented as conditions for receiving consecutive ‘bail-out’ loans have had, so far, a very negative impact upon the Greek economy, politics and society. Further, it is argued that labour market reforms underway in Greece and the rest of Southern Europe signal some very worrying developments with respect to the social dimension of European integration. Indeed, especially in the area of collective agreements, when we view these reforms from a European perspective we can identify the rise of wage policy interventionism by the EU; a new process that ‘combines European requirements for national wage and labour market policies with the threat of economic sanctions’ (Busch et al (2013:8). In turn this signals the intensification of the (neo)liberalisation of the European Social Model and puts under severe doubt the prospects for a more social Europe that will prioritize social objectives and rights over economic freedoms. The article is structured as follows. The next section deals briefly with the causes of the politico-economic crisis in Greece. It is followed by a discussion of the economic and political effects of the crisis and the impact of austerity measures and reforms. The article continues with a longer section that discusses the impact upon the Greek society and,especially on the familistic model of social reproduction in Greece. In its last part, the article explores the character of labour market reforms in Greece within the on text of the ongoing decline of the European Social Model and reflects upon the future prospects for a more social Europe.

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