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Economic Crisis and Households: Greece in the Context of the Economic Crisis

The recent economic crisis, which began in 2008 in the USA and spread worldwide, affected the developed countries much more. It weakened their economies and the households’ finances and expenditures (e.g., USA, Spain, Greece), since gross domestic product per capita dropped and in many cases there was simultaneously a dramatic rise in unemployment. Furthermore, signs of growth have been projected to be modest (IMF 2016). Recent studies focusing on the USA (i.e., Hurd and Rohwedder 2010), Italy (Zanin 2015), and Spain (Villar 2015) point out that increasing numbers of households, in comparison with the pre-crisis period, have reduced their expenditures since they have been affected by unemployment, negative home equity, and arrears on their financial commitments (e.g., utility bills, mortgage payments).

Since November 2009, Greece has entered a long period of severe economic crisis, which is the most serious one in its modern history. In an effort to bring public finances back under control the Greek governments have announced rounds of austerity measures and structural reforms as requirements for the three bailout agreements (Memoranda of understanding) with its international creditors, the so-called Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (Kosmidou, Kousenidis, and Negakis 2015 ; Priporas et al. 2015). The impact of the financial crisis had obvious negative effects on the Greek economy and consequently the society and its citizens, in particular on the most vulnerable population groups (Arghyrou and Tsoukalas 2011; Christopoulou and Monastiriotis 2016 ; Markovits, Boer, and van Dick 2014; Priporas et al. 2015 ; Kentikelenis et al. 2011; Kaplanoglou and Rapanos 2015); Alderman 2013; Makris and Bekridakis 2013; Yannakoulia et al. 2016).

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