Columbia International Affairs Online: Working Papers

CIAO DATE: 09/2013

Güney Avrupa'da Ekonomik Kriz ve Toplumsal Hareketler

Burak Cop

February 2013

Global Political Trends Center


The southern European countries are those who have been affected the most by the EU sovereign debt crisis. However, compared with Greece and Spain, Italy and Portugal are in relatively better positions in terms of their debt/GDP rate and unemployment figures. There has been a strong popular reaction against the austerity measures in Greece, a country where leftist parties and trade unions have been traditionally strong. Due to the miserable conditions of the economy, the Greek government has been prevented from taking the publics demands into account. It is important to note that the political situation in Greece is very unstable leading to the potential relaxing of the austerity measures. There is no such instability in Spain and Portugal, making the probability of the relaxation of austerity measures unlikely, especially in Spain. Italy has the same potential for political instability as does Greece, and given that it is a country with relatively better conditions, in comparison with the others, some relaxation of the austerity measures may be expected if the centre left coalition comes to power.