Solidarity and the Welfare State in Greece
Dimitris Kotroyannos, Kostas A. Lavdas, Stylianos Tzagkarakis, Apostolos Kamekis, Marinos Chourdakis : Solidarity and the Welfare State in Greece, GSTF Journal of Law and Social Sciences (JLSS), Vol 2, 2013
5 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2016
Date Written: APRIL 02, 2013
During the years preceding the financial and fiscal crisis, Greece's welfare state had been mainly extending provisions in order to serve the political patronage system built after regime change in 1974. This system reached its limits as the number of active insurance contributions given by the working population was gradually reducing while the number of inactive members (pensioners) was increasing at an exponential rate. Because of this situation, after the outbreak of the financial crisis, the "obvious" concepts of social security and solidarity were in dispute and are currently in a process of redefinition. Undoubtedly, insurance is a way of producing solidarity and nowadays redistribution methods are put into question. At this point we note that the proposals of the Left proved unable to address the viability problem of the social security system and as a result could not prevent the appearance of "social exclusion". This is evidenced by the fact that in Greece during the economic downturn, not only are the vulnerable affected but also the middle classes. These results stem from the requirements of the Medium Term Fiscal Strategy Programme 2013- 2016, signed by the Greek government, the IMF and the EU, that proposed a selective welfare state which reduces wastage by the extreme reduction in the Health and Education services. One main aspect of the welfare state is the existence of solidarity with social content but how can this be implemented when solidarity becomes a form of charity? Does the introduction of a revolutionary tax plan which aims at increasing the development rates provide a sustainable solution to this problem? The purpose of this article is to investigate the transformation of the concept of solidarity and the formulation of policies that will make the welfare state in Greece viable while not restricting social goods.
Keywords: financial crisis, social policy, solidarity, welfare state
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