Keywords: Greece; Crisis; Social Safety Net; Poverty.
The social cost of the Greek crisis has been dramatic. This article analyses the role of the country's system of social protection. It begins by briefly reviewing the most salient aspects of the crisis and the austerity. It then examines the role of the welfare state as a social "shock absorber", and argues that its capacity to mitigate the social impact of the crisis was already seriously compromised before the onset of the crisis. Following that, it analyses the effects of the crisis on the welfare state in terms of cuts and reforms, including recent efforts to expand
social provision and strengthen the social safety net. The article concludes by discussing
prospects for the welfare state in an era of permanent austerity.