Pilar González, António Figueiredo

Crisis, Austerity and the European Social Model in Portugal

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The Portuguese version of the European Social Model has been impacted by the Great Recession and austerity policies. In this paper we argue that the Portuguese experience shows similar effects to other European Union countries (under economic adjustment or simply touched by the consequences of the Great Recession on public finances) but also shows distinctive consequences. The paper collects evidence on reforms targeted at increasing the costeffectiveness of some pillars of the Portuguese Social Model, which were already in place before 2008, but have since been undermined by austerity measures lacking strategic coherence. The paper focuses on the historical context of the ESM in Portugal to discuss the impact of austerity in the country. We also discuss the noticeable impact of austerity on the Portuguese middle class.The Portuguese version of the European Social Model has been impacted by the Great Recession and austerity policies. In this paper we argue that the Portuguese experience shows similar effects to other European Union countries (under economic adjustment or simply touched by the consequences of the Great Recession on public finances) but also shows distinctive consequences. The paper collects evidence on reforms targeted at increasing the costeffectiveness of some pillars of the Portuguese Social Model, which were already in place before 2008, but have since been undermined by austerity measures lacking strategic coherence. The paper focuses on the historical context of the ESM in Portugal to discuss the impact of austerity in the country. We also discuss the noticeable impact of austerity on the Portuguese middle class.

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Article first page