Distributing the Pain From Europe’s Austerity Cure

Distributing the Pain From Europe’s Austerity Cure

Protests erupted across Spain and Greece this week, with demonstrators in both of the debt-hobbled countries expressing their growing displeasure with austerity reforms.

The unrest comes just weeks after the European Central Bank announced that it would act as lender of last resort to eurozone nations facing rising borrowing costs, easing fears of sovereign defaults and calming financial markets. But now, with economic growth at a standstill and increasing numbers of Spaniards and Greeks facing impoverishment, the question has become whether these countries can survive the austerity cure, and if so, what it will take.

“Much has been made of this crisis signifying the death of the ‘European welfare state,’” Raoul Ruparel, the head of economic research at Open Europe, told Trend Lines in an email interview. “That seems a bit of an exaggeration, but it is likely that the previous approach to welfare and public-sector spending will no longer be sustainable. There will be a reduced public sector in all areas, while the welfare system will be streamlined and the power of unions likely reduced. Ultimately, the economy will need to rebalance away from a reliance on the state and find new drivers for growth. The impact of this socially will be significant.”

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to WPR’s fully searchable library of 16,000+ articles
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday
  • Weekly in-depth reports on important issues and countries
  • Daily links to must-read news and analysis from top sources around the globe, curated by our keen-eyed team of editors
  • The Weekly Wrap-Up email, with highlights of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.

More World Politics Review