The Systemic Crisis of Greek Labor

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 3:30 PM
Room: 512
Oral Presentation
Georgeos TSOBANOGLOU , University of the Aegean, Athens, Greece

The current crisis in Greece has brought to the surface the employment security aspect of the Greek “labour system”.  The employment relationship seems to be embedded upon a bifurcated system whereby labour is separated institutionally in a) a secured salaried public sector and b) a private sector defined by precarious labour conditions that are characterised by the technical separation of work from its social security (mainly pensions) relationship. The two systems have been coupled with separate health care systems developing separately (recent attempts to unify are in process). The paper explores this hidden reality by defining the organisation of the labour system in Greece, its politico-administrative controls that formulate a binary legal system (public/private) that does not allow for the emergence of the not-for-profit-law institutions.

The “social” reproduction of private labour is based upon the formally established private and “commercialised” interests that practice “trade” in basic needs (health, education).  As a result, communities rely on the family, the Church, self-help and … out-migration. By focusing on this anachronistic and discriminatory system of political order for labour we may be able to unlock the reasons for the weakness of labour social economy organisations in Greece and the acute unemployment rates (the highest in the Eurozone).  This approach will aid our understanding of the Greek crisis as a failure of Euro-Zone’s  public policy.

Key words

Greek institutional crisis; labour fragmentation; Euro-Zone, social development