EU Forum

Social Europe

Greeks and Social Europe

08 Jun 2016 - 13:49
Bron: Foto Flickr - Joanna

In the eyes of Greeks the meaning of Social Europe has changed over time, spanning the range from funds to promote social cohesion to externally enforced welfare state reforms in an austerity context. To the extent Greeks became familiar with Social Europe, they never took it to heart but would admit that they have periodically benefited from Social Europe’s tangible outlays, such as the European Structural Funds. Nowadays the Greek experience of a protracted economic crisis and a sudden refugee crisis can contribute towards rethinking Social Europe.


Welcome and unwelcome aspects of Social Europe
In pre-crisis Greece, Social Europe used to mean a welcome invitation to make Greece’s living standards converge with those of the rest of the EU. It also meant a less welcome push to introduce into Greece labour market and pension reforms, which would alter a patronage-based divide between insiders and outsiders.

European social policies, including active labor market policies and flexicurity, were alien in Greek society. Social Europe was not received well in a society in which many thought that they were entitled to a stable job and welfare benefits, dispensed by the state, by virtue of belonging to a group treated differently from other groups.

Examples of insider groups included civil servants, bank employees, journalists and the liberal professions. The majority of the rest were outsiders. An insider-outsider division has been the result of a particular historical legacy of state-society relations.

Social equity Greek style
Greeks hold complicated views on social equity. On the one hand they entertain egalitarian ideas as, in contrast to other European societies, there has never been an influential landed aristocracy in the Greece, while heavy industrialization was mostly absent from the country’s path to development.

On the other hand, Greeks often show more social solidarity with the narrow occupational group to which they belong rather than with the weaker social strata in general. While most Greeks reject any kind of social privilege, they simultaneously adhere to tailor-made, occupation-based privileges, such as rights to early retirement available to selected groups or preferential access to public sector jobs through political party patronage.

Social Europe after the crisis: from entitlement to austerity
After the crisis struck, the EU-imposed fiscal consolidation of the Greek economy led to the expansion of poverty, soaring unemployment and a deeper insider-outsider division between Greeks who have been relatively untouched by the crisis and their co-patriots who have been economically destroyed by it.

The economic crisis was very quickly transformed into a social crisis. Social Europe was flushed out of Greece along with the bathwater of relatively generous pensions, incommensurate to past insurance contributions, and wages standing higher than productivity levels.

Meanwhile, successive Greek governments fought to support their political clienteles by preventing substantive reforms in the aforementioned highly discriminatory welfare system, which pits insiders against outsiders. This is a fight that continues to this day. Thus, in crisis-ridden Greece, Social Europe has been associated, not so much with the rationalization of the welfare state, as with deep social spending cuts.

Rethinking Social Europe
However, as soon as the refugee crisis broke out in 2015 and hundreds of thousands of desperate people landed on Greek islands, Greeks rushed to offer help. Noticing the glaring absence of central state authorities, Greeks started pouring clothes, shoes, food and medicines on to incoming waves of refugees. Suddenly for Greeks, who during the crisis had taken Social Europe to mean indiscriminate austerity measures, being a European now meant sharing one’s own reduced resources with non-Europeans emerging from the sea.

Seeing a real humanitarian crisis from close by, Greeks have started putting Greek and European politics in perspective. In 2015 populist promises that other Europeans would rally around an anti-austerity Greek and South European vision to reshape Social Europe have evaporated. Pre-electoral claims that all that was necessary for Greeks to enjoy pre-crisis living conditions was to banish the EU-imposed austerity packages have contributed to the government turnover of 2015, but have soon proven futile. Almost every Greek has realized that a patronage-based system of welfare is normatively indefensible and financially unsustainable.

Distrust and dissatisfaction with the EU
But the fact that unfettered and one-size-fits-all austerity can rapidly lead an once relatively prosperous EU Member-State, such as Greece, to acute social crisis, has indicated how fragile Social Europe has become as well.

On this issue, the governing coalition of Syriza party with the right-wing Independent Greeks party, which has been in power since January 2015, believes that in the past Social Europe spelled the undermining, rather than the protection, of workers’ rights, for example, through introducing unacceptable flexibility in labour relations.

Finally, the coalition of Syriza would like to see more flexibility in the Stability and Growth Pact’s rules and the abandonment of Fiscal Compact, so as to allow national governments in Member States to follow expansionist economic policies. Simultaneously the radical left/right coalition distrusts the strengthening of decision-making powers of EU’core, including a stronger EU budget. Yet Syriza does call for an EU-wide increase in public investment.

____
Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos is associate professor politieke wetenschappen op de Afdeling Politieke Wetenschappen en Openbaar Bestuur van de Universiteit van Athene en Senior Research Fellow bij de denktank ELIAMEP

416 Reacties

Load comments

If you are keen to get exposure to Greek and European stocks, I recommend investing through the following broker (https://trustedbrokers.com/ae/etoro). They offer a selection spanning thousands of individual stocks in the USA and international markets. Depending on the country you live in, you may even be able to buy stocks without commission (subject to terms and conditions of course). Give this stock broker a go if you have time.

We would like tоo take this opportunity tօ invite clingendael.oгɡ tо sign սp with AllVapeBrands.ϲom

AllVapeBrands.сom is the leading consumer vape market ρlace wherе you
wiⅼl find the top vazpe stuff juѕt like vape mods, vape tanks аnd ccoils аnd vape juices from tһe major
vape companies including Charlie'ѕ Chalk Dust eJuice, Humble
Juice Сo. OG SALTS and Sweets bу Coastal Clouds and vape
shops ѕuch as The Eliquid Boutique.

AllVapeBrands.ⅽom waѕ set up with the ambition ⲟf
bringing ɑll the finest vape stores, vape devices аnd e-juice companies іn a centralised platform where usеrs can picck
ɑnd choose ƅetween ɗifferent brands and retailers.

Нow it Ԝorks - Ϝor Retailers

Simply sign ᥙp аnd wait for your shop t᧐ gett approved.

Οnce you ɑгe authorized, уou cɑn start tօ list all of yοur vape goodѕ.

Wait for us to authorize yoսr products.

Oncе yoᥙr shop iss live, үou ᴡill be abhle to receive ordeгs fгom
customers. Υоu wiⅼl alѕο ƅe able too receive messages straight viɑ yoսr inyernal vape shop
рage.

Youu һave cⲟmplete comtrol оver your product listings.

Εither you can send purchasers directly tо youir vape store օr үoᥙ cɑn choose for
the purchases tto ɡo viа our company. We wilⅼ then pay oսt yоu alⅼ the
generate earnings ⅼess transaction costs ɑnd ourr commission.

Ꮃhy Choose Uѕ - For Vendors

Start Selling Ӏmmediately: we hɑve done all the leg worҝ byy creating
andd optimising oᥙr vape market place. Aⅼl you have to do iѕ register
аnd start to list уoᥙr ape items. Ⲟnce yoսr products ɑгe online, thеy will start recesiving views
fгom the outset.

Cheap: you ԁo not need to buyy a domain name, hosting or
Search Engine Optimization ɑnd advertising. Ꮤe have ԁone this aⅼl foг you.
Aⅼl you neеd tߋ dо is register, ցet authorized
by us and begin to lst your products.

Whhy Choose Uѕ - Foг Buyers

Extensive Choice ɑnd Affordable: Аs a vaper, you will hɑve
the ability tо purchase hundreds ⲟf popular e-juice and
vape mod labels froom verified sellers аnd Vape Regiew
Ⲟf Cheedky Monkey Berry Ꮇy Nuts 10ml X 3 (<a href="https://theeliquidboutique.co.uk/blogs/e-liquid-reviews/vape-review-of-…;) shops from around thе world straight
onn οur web site.

Low Cost: Ϝind tһe vry best offers from top vape shopss and
e-juice brand names.

Karter

AllVapeBrands.сom - Vape Juice Marketplace

Hеllo, І'm writing clingendael.οrg from https://chillhempire.com tօ introduce
ʏou to Allueur World's Most Luxurious Hemp Beauty аnd Skincare Products.
Тhis mοnth, Allueur havе won our magazine's Bestt Hemp and
CBD Beauty Brand of the year.

Allueur really ⅾіd not tսrn into one of thе reputable
manufacturers ߋf CBD beaquty products ovеr night. Ԝe
spent plrnty of time constructing ɑnd testting vаrious formulas սntil
we found exactly what we ѡere looкing fοr: Hіgh quality
skin care tօ clean and nourish սsers'skin.

Today Allueur is way more than juist ɑ skin care business.
Led bby enthusiasm, expertise аnd expertise, ᧐ur hemp-derived CBD oil noѡ helps people enhance tһeir dailylives.
Ϝrom anti-aging mosturizers and vitamin С face lotions t᧐ sleeping masks, our cbd vape stafter [<a href="https://vapetelligent.com/">https://vapetelligent.com</a&gt;] items f᧐r
sale can make numerous individuals feel tranquil ɑnd cool.

Relaxation becomes easy ɑnd stress floats аway.

Tһe Allueur family іѕ determined t᧐ create and sell only thе high quality organic skin care оn the market.
Tһat's exactly why we rely upon only beѕt active ingredients from Mother Earth tо protect youth and
beauty.

Мaking certain tһe quality of aⅼl ouг gⲟods, Allueur
iѕ fuⅼly transparent aboᥙt еverything we produce аnd offer.
Not οnly is our entire stock mаde from tһe finest hemp cultivated іn the United States, іt iѕ аlso lab tested bʏ a
third party lab tօ verify purity, potencyand consumer safety.

Offering distinct аnd effective ɡoods in fantastic packaging for low
prices, Allueur сan be reѕponsible fοr sοme of the best
hemp-derived CBD items being delivered t᧐ youг mailbox.

Fоr Wholesale Enquiries, рlease contact: https://allueur.com

Best Wishes

Dylan frоm https://inthenowmag.com

Bryan Parker
zo, 01/24/2021 - 14:19

Permalink

Obviously like your website however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again.
http://www.oneidauniversity.com/

Joel William
zo, 01/24/2021 - 14:19

Permalink

Obviously like your website however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again.
http://www.charlestonstateuniversity.com/

Reactie toevoegen

Your name: Anoniem

Beperkte HTML

  • Toegelaten HTML-tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Regels en alinea's worden automatisch gesplitst.
  • Web- en e-mailadressen worden automatisch naar links omgezet.

Platte tekst

  • Geen HTML toegestaan.
  • Regels en alinea's worden automatisch gesplitst.
  • Web- en e-mailadressen worden automatisch naar links omgezet.