Social Dialogue in Post-crisis Greece: A Sisyphus Syndrome for Greek Social Partners’ Expectations

  • Theodore Koutroukis


This chapter argues that due to a large public debt, Greece has been obliged to ask for external financing and to implement measures of reform (Memoranda). The evidence of the years 2010–2016 indicates (a) higher flexibility in the labour market, (b) reduction of minimum wages at the national and the sectoral levels, (c) decentralization of the collective bargaining procedures and (d) abandonment or extreme limitation of the arbitration procedure for several years. The aim of this chapter is to assess the impact of joint EC-ECB-IMF (European Union–European Central Bank–International Monetary Fund) Programmes on the Greek industrial relation system, using an analysis of the institutional changes in labour market and social dialogue. In the years to come, a new response to the crisis is likely to appear, an “organized decentralization” shift in which higher-level agreements set the parameters and the procedures for collective bargaining at the company level. This process allows for adaptation to firm-specific circumstances but puts a limit on the labour flexibility avoiding extreme solutions.


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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Theodore Koutroukis
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of EconomicsDemocritus University of ThraceKomotiniGreece

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