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Crisis and Austerity: A painful watershed for the South European welfare state

Crisis and Austerity: A painful watershed for the South European welfare state

LECTURE by visiting researcher and CROP Fellow Professor Maria Petmesidou: What is the status and impact of the financial crisis on the welfare states in Greece and other countries in South Europe?

6 May 2013 (12:00-14:00) | Bergen Resource Center for International Development, Norway

Over the last decades welfare states in South Europe have had major gaps in social protection despite increasing social expenditure, including persistently low redistributive effects of social transfers and comparatively high poverty rates. Social vulnerability has increased further due to the impact of the current financial crisis. Can this crisis provide a spur to improving institutional capabilities in social welfare, or is it dealing a serious blow to the (albeit weak) South European welfare states?

Professor Petmesidou will propose an in-depth analysis of the Greek case, including the "conditionalities" of the "rescue-deals" agreed between the so-called "troika" (IMF-EU-ECB) and the Greek government, and the ensuing sweeping reforms dismantling social welfare and labour protection. The analysis will include comparisons with Spain and Portugal, with an emphasis on deepening social polarization, heightened insecurity among large sections of the population and increasing poverty.

Maria Petmesidou is professor of Social Policy at the Democritus University of Thrace, Greece. She is a CROP Fellow and a University of Bergen SPIRE guest researcher.

The event will be held in the Bergen Resource Center for International Develoopment.


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