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Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe$
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Richard Gunther, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, and Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199202812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.001.0001

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Democratic and Economic Consolidation in Southern Europe

Democratic and Economic Consolidation in Southern Europe

Chapter:
(p.305) 8 Democratic and Economic Consolidation in Southern Europe
Source:
Democracy and the State in the New Southern Europe
Author(s):

Stavros B. Thomadakis

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199202812.003.0008

This chapter focuses on fiscal conditions and structures and how they evolved over time in Greece, Portugal, and Spain. Their evolution went through three phases, that is, democratization, consolidation of democracy and orientation of national economies towards the European Union, and European convergence and participation in the European Monetary Union. Traditionally, the states of Greece, Portugal, and Spain were weak economic entities, in terms of taxing and public spending. Democratization, in the aftermath of an international economic crisis, brought about the enlargement of public spending, without a corresponding increase of public revenues. Overall, the economic role of the state grew, but the commitment of the three states to European integration required economic stability and fiscal consolidation. In the course of achieving these goals, Greece lagged behind Portugal and Spain. Finally, the imbalance between fiscal expenditure and public revenues was corrected, and the three countries were successfully integrated into a system of more developed economies.

Keywords:   fiscal consolidation, economic consolidation, economic performance, fiscal structures, fiscal imbalance, government expenditure, public revenue, taxation, social security

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