Publikation Soziale Bewegungen / Organisierung The welfare state in Greece

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November 2003

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The Greek welfare state is at a critical point. Its late development, the influence of both social democratic and liberal traditions and the lack of a coherent structure, the fiscal austerity inherited from the period of the integration of the country in the EMU and established afterwards, increased demands from the unemployed, the poor and an aging population, chronic demands for higher public education and public health spending, the annoying realities of intense income inequalities and high poverty rates have created a difficult but interesting situation for the analysis of the prospects and limits of social policy in a capitalist economy. For the moment they have turned the direction of the still emerging (and in some areas already retrenching) welfare state towards a marginalist, liberal cash- benefit oriented model that tends to the needs of selected groups officially stamped as the “really needy” and neglecting any social policy measures which could possibly promote solidarity and social citizenship. ...

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