Maria Markantonatou: From Austerity to the Pandemic and Back Again? Lockdown Politics in Greece. [Abstract]

This paper provides an analysis of the lockdown politics implemented in Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021. It argues that Greece's pandemic politics deepened the crisis of the familistic social model that resulted from the austerity policies of the last decade. Although caring for the family became a high priority during the pandemic, resources for families and households did not increase. Likewise, while “essential” workers were much praised by officials, their wages and working conditions hardly improved. The COVID-19 pandemic crisis management in Greece has two peculiarities: First, the country entered the pandemic after a painful decade of austerity, interrupting the fragile, long-awaited economic recovery. Second, given the inadequate state of the public healthcare system after a decade of austerity, the lockdowns in Greece were among the strictest in Europe. Rather than being the result of state preparedness, these lockdowns can be interpreted as an acknowledgment of state failure.

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