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The Member States of the European Union

The Member States of the European Union (3rd edn)

Simon Bulmer and Christian Lequesne
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date: 01 July 2022

p. 1236. Greece: a Critical Test Case of Europeanizationlocked

p. 1236. Greece: a Critical Test Case of Europeanizationlocked

  • Dimitris Papadimitriou
  •  and Sotirios Zartaloudis

Abstract

This chapter explores Greece’s turbulent and ambivalent relationship with European integration. Despite initial hesitation during the initial stages of EU membership, Greece grew into one of the most pro-European member states. This enthusiasm ended abruptly after 2010 with the eurozone crisis and resultant EU–IMF bailout agreements that necessitated unpopular reforms and austerity. Consequently, Greece witnessed a seismic change in its party system, with a dramatic increase in the popularity of anti-system parties on both the Left and the Right of the political spectrum. Euroscepticism became more prevalent among Greek voters who blamed foreign actors (such as the EU, the IMF, Germany) and their domestic interlocutors for the country’s economic hardship. Greece’s Europeanization has been difficult, not least because of endemic weaknesses in public administration and the public policy process. EU-driven adaptational pressures on policy, polity, and institutions have been severely mitigated by entrenched veto points at the domestic level.

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