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Title: The impact of the fiscal crisis on Greek and Portuguese welfare states: retrenchment before the catch-up?
Authors: Zartaloudis, Sotirios
Keywords: Financial crisis
Welfare state
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: © John Wiley and Sons Ltd
Citation: ZARTALOUDIS, S., 2014. The impact of the fiscal crisis on Greek and Portuguese welfare states: retrenchment before the catch-up? Social Policy and Administration: an International Journal of Policy and Research, 48 (4), pp.430-449.
Abstract: This article examines the impact of the ongoing (2008–13) economic crisis on Greek and Portuguese welfare state reforms in a comparative perspective with a particular focus on the public sector, labour markets and social protection. It is argued that the recent crisis caused ‘shock and awe’ in Greece and Portugal resulting in an unprecedented wave of cuts, tax rises and labour market reforms. In particular, public sector remuneration and jobs were cut, pensions were significantly curtailed and pension rights significantly restricted, successive tax hikes were implemented and welfare benefits became less generous and more conditional. It is argued that these reforms constitute a critical juncture and a considerable effort towards welfare retrenchment, which is which is implemented before converging with the more advanced welfare states of the EU15. Both countries appeared to be significantly more vulnerable to the crisis than the richer countries of Northern Europe (e.g. Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands) and their larger Southern counterparts (Italy and Spain). Yet, the latter had to implement similar measures, albeit in a less abrupt and extensive fashion. In other words, it may be that size is less important than economic and political power for coping with the effects of the current crisis.
Description: This paper is closed access.
Version: Published
DOI: 10.1111/spol.12069
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/15896
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/spol.12069
ISSN: 0144-5596
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Politics and International Studies)

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