Greece

   

Social Policies

#36
Key Findings
With safety nets strained by crisis, Greece falls into the bottom ranks (rank 36) with regard to social policies. Its score on this measure has improved by 0.6 points relative to 2014.

The country’s education system is heavily skewed toward the tertiary sector. Polytechnics have been merged into the university system. Pre-primary education has become mandatory at the age of four. Young people remain excluded from the labor market in large numbers, with the NEET (not in education, employment or training) share among the EU-27’s worst.

The long crisis has badly exacerbated poverty and social exclusion. Pensioners receive far more support than do other needy groups. A new minimum-income guarantee program provides some income assistance, but financing remains insecure. An effort to make healthcare delivery more efficient by focusing on publicly provided primary care has stumbled due to an insufficiency of general practitioners.

Family policies are underdeveloped, with women providing the bulk of childcare. The country has been unable to manage refugee flows effectively, with residents of overcrowded island refugee camps now being moved to camps around the country. EU and NGO assistance has helped somewhat. Social integration is not a focus of migration policy.

Education

#35

To what extent does education policy deliver high-quality, equitable and efficient education and training?

10
 9

Education policy fully achieves the criteria.
 8
 7
 6


Education policy largely achieves the criteria.
 5
 4
 3


Education policy partially achieves the criteria.
 2
 1

Education policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Education Policy
4
Greece performs well with regard to tertiary attainment (the share of the population holding university-level degrees) compared to other OECD countries, and generally has good primary education with low school drop-out rates. However, it is a laggard with regard to upper-secondary attainment and its PISA results. In other words, while primary schools and universities may not show an outstanding performance, they function somewhat better than the high schools. This is the result of many factors, including the Greek population’s fascination, fueled by successive governments, with being admitted to any university, and any department or school, by passing the competitive entrance examinations. These traditionally require memorization rather than critical thinking on the part of the pupils examined, and are conducted every June on a nationwide scale through a centralized examination mechanism. As a result, teaching and learning in high schools is oriented toward the requirements of exam preparation, a task is in fact far better organized by the country’s innumerable fee-supported private cramming schools than by state or private high schools.

Educational outcomes in Greece are close to the OECD average in mathematics, reading and science. However, students’ PISA test performance has not shown any significant improvement over the last decade.

Tertiary institutions are nominally autonomous, but the Ministry of Education is responsible for their funding, as well as for the distribution of students across undergraduate programs. Since the mid-1990s, governments have promoted a policy of open university access, in part by opening admissions to universities and establishing new universities and departments. In the period under review, the Syriza-ANEL government merged the country’s 14 state polytechnics (technological educational institutes, TEI) with the 22 state universities. This measure, taken without prior planning, let alone an evaluation of the polytechnics, should be interpreted in the context of that government’s faltering populism. The measure was completed almost overnight, making it impossible for the successor to Syriza-ANEL, the New Democracy government (in power since July 2019), to overturn it. The Ministry of Education also introduced several measures during the review period that further reduced the autonomy of higher-education institutions.

Obtaining a high-school diploma (rather than a vocational-school qualification) is an aim sought by almost all families. Such a diploma, combined with success in the aforementioned nationwide university examinations, provides access to tertiary education. However, such access is not equitable, as students from middle- and upper-class backgrounds are more likely to pass entrance examinations successfully. Moreover, to the extent their parents can afford it, Greek high-school students receive extensive private tutoring in the cramming schools noted above. This reflects a cultural contradiction. While tertiary education is an entirely public sector activity (i.e., university students pay neither tuition fees nor textbook costs, and private universities are officially banned), success in entering universities depends on private tutoring.

Under the Syriza-ANEL government (2015 – 2019), competency tests to pass a class (or grade) in elementary and high school were all but been abolished; timid teacher-evaluation efforts were largely abandoned; and the status of vocational training (in technical and professional high schools) was further downgraded to the benefit of general education in high schools (this latter trend has persisted for decades).

Meanwhile, the age-old patronage-based allocation of education resources continued. The Greek state spends less on education (3.9% of GDP) than the EU-28 average (4.6% in 2017; latest Eurostat figures). In addition, public funds are misspent: the allocation of teachers in public schools and lecturers in university departments is often uneven, university libraries are under-resourced and housing for students is far from adequate. The distribution of infrastructure among university departments is generally unequal and academic and administrative staff are underpaid.

The education system is extremely top-heavy, with public resources channeled to sustain a large number of state universities and polytechnics. It is unsurprising that Greece is ranked among the lowest in the OECD with regard to expenditure on pre-primary education. However, there is a positive development underway, as pre-primary education in Greece has become compulsory for all four-year-old children as of the 2018 – 2019 school year. Over the span of three years, the two-year preschool education will become compulsory in all municipalities of the country, and all children will enroll in pre-primary schools (Nipiagogeia) at the age of four.

The quality of education across Greek universities is very uneven. Some university departments have a long tradition of excellence, such as the Athens Law School and most of the engineering departments of the National Technical University of Athens. Many other schools, however, including most former polytechnics (given university status overnight), are at a considerably lesser level.

In summary, Greece’s education system is one of the most centralized among OECD countries, with education policy suffering from politicization and a lack of policy continuity. The economic crisis and government policy have further exacerbated the mismatch between the allocation of resources and actual needs. Thus, the divergence between employment and education trends has worsened (for more, see “Labor Market Policy”).

Citations:
Information on the performance of Greece’s educational system is based on data provided on this SGI platform. Data on public expenditure on education is drawn on Eurostat, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php?title=File:Main_indicators_for_public_expenditure_on_education_(excluding_early_childhood_educational_development),_2015_ET18.png
PISA / OECD 2015 Results http://www.oecd.org/pisa/

Eurostat, Government Expenditure on Education 2017 (https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Government_expenditure_on_education#Expenditure_on_.27education.27)

Social Inclusion

#30

To what extent does social policy prevent exclusion and decoupling from society?

10
 9

Policies very effectively enable societal inclusion and ensure equal opportunities.
 8
 7
 6


For the most part, policies enable societal inclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 5
 4
 3


For the most part, policies fail to prevent societal exclusion effectively and ensure equal opportunities.
 2
 1

Policies exacerbate unequal opportunities and exclusion from society.
Social Inclusion Policy
4
Since 2009, Greece has lost more than a quarter of its real economic output with dire social consequences. A study by the Athens-based DiaNeosis think tank found that the earnings of 15% of the population were below the extreme poverty threshold. In 2009, that share was below 2.2%. Though Greece is not ranked among the worst-performing OECD countries with regard to income inequality or poverty, social exclusion is rather unusual for an EU country. In 2017 (latest Eurostat data available as of the time of writing) the share of Greeks at risk of poverty or social exclusion was 35% (EU-28 average: 23%). Life satisfaction, which dropped after 2010 but was rising between 2013 and 2015, was again on the decline in 2016 and 2017.

Besides the economic crisis, a deeper challenge is the long-term exclusion of young people from the labor market, to which they remain outsiders. The share of people aged 20 to 34 who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) is the second-worst in EU-28 (27%). Another challenge is the enduring tendency of Greek governments to cater to the social needs of old-age pensioners much more than those of any other category of welfare-state beneficiaries. Meanwhile, typical government measures included the distribution of ad hoc social-assistance benefits (usually just before Christmas, as occurred once again in December 2018). Benefits, which are usually less generous than pensions, have been handed out to selected categories of the population. The government also hired poor and unemployed people in the public sector on temporary, five-month-long contracts, and counted on kin or family networks to fill in the gaps of a still inchoate social policy. In fact, with the government’s blessing, old-age pensioners were expected to live on their pensions or other sources of income while also offering food and shelter to socially excluded relatives.

In the period under review, the implementation of a minimum-income guarantee program, called Social Solidarity Income (KEA; first introduced in 2017), was continued. The implementation of this long awaited national minimum-income scheme was a positive development, and it undoubtedly represents a major improvement over all previous programs. However, the program still needs predictable and smooth financing, as well as the establishment of permanent monitoring and impact assessment mechanisms to prevent the inefficient use of resources.

Complementary measures to fight unemployment (a major cause of rising poverty), such as participation in vocational education and training (VET), remained modest. To sum up, as in the recent past, welfare measures in the period under review were focused more strongly on old-age pensioners than on the unemployed or the socially excluded. Better-targeted benefits could make growth more inclusive.

Citations:
Data on the poverty rate, GNI coefficient and NEET share in the age group 20-24 is provided by the SGI dataset on this platform.

Data on the share of people at risk of poverty or social exclusion is available from Eurostat at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/People_at_risk_of_poverty_or_social_exclusion

The national roll-out of the “Social Solidarity Income” scheme in Greece, ESPN Flash Report 2017/68.

NEET Statistics https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Statistics_on_young_people_neither_in_employment_nor_in_education_or_training

Health

#33

To what extent do health care policies provide high-quality, inclusive and cost-efficient health care?

10
 9

Health care policy achieves the criteria fully.
 8
 7
 6


Health care policy achieves the criteria largely.
 5
 4
 3


Health care policy achieves the criteria partly.
 2
 1

Health care policy does not achieve the criteria at all.
Health Policy
4
Since the onset of the economic crisis in Greece, there have been massive cuts in public and private healthcare spending. Since 2009, per capita spending on public healthcare has been cut by nearly a third. In 2019, Greece spent $2,238 per capita on healthcare – more than one-third less than the OECD average. This amounted to 7.8% of GDP (down from 9.9% in 2009, the last pre-crisis year). Moreover, only 59% of health spending was publicly funded. Private spending, meaning out-of-pocket expenses (which were rarely taxed), stood at 35% and was more than double the EU-28 average.

Private spending is fueled not only by the population’s health status, but also by the supply of health practitioners and the availability of private diagnostic centers; in 2019, Greece had 6.1 practicing physicians per 1,000 people in the population, the highest such ratio in OECD. However, there were only 3.3 practicing nurses per 1,000 people – around 40% of the OECD average of 8.8. Moreover, Greece also had one of the EU-28’s highest shares of MRI units and medical scanners per 1 million people.

Seeking to balance this oversupply of private medical services, the government implemented a system of local public healthcare units (TOMY) during the period under review. The new system should have offered a major improvement over the past, moving in the right direction by required that practicing doctors become family doctors (i.e., general practitioners responsible for a few thousand insured citizens each). Implementation of the new system faced challenges, as Greece currently lacks sufficient general practitioners. According to a study conducted by the Greek Health Ministry and World Health Organization, there are currently about 3,800 general practitioners in Greece, while there should be around 8,140 in order to meet the EU average. Specialized doctors (of whom Greece has an oversupply) had no incentive to provide primary healthcare under the newly established terms of the program, and were reluctant to enroll in a system that would tie them to predetermined levels of compensation. Meanwhile, patients continued to trust their own usual private-practice doctors, to whom they pay out-of-pocket fees. As a consequence, only several hundred doctors had agreed to work with the new system by mid-2019.

Greece also remained one of the lowest spenders on the share of preventive health measures in total healthcare expenditures. In addition, in the period under review as in the past, the distribution of the 131 public hospitals across Greece remained highly uneven, resulting from a patronage-based selection process that determines where hospitals should be built. Furthermore, there were eight state medical schools in the country, producing hundreds of doctors every year. At the same time, Greece faced a chronic lack of nurses (a low-status, low-paid job) and a similar lack of medical personnel in the periphery of the country, as most doctors preferred to work in the hospitals of the two largest cities, Athens and Thessaloniki.

In summary, while clientelistic structures in the provision of healthcare remain intact, there is a lack of long-term planning and programming with regard to preventive healthcare measures. In addition, there is a high volume of unrecorded and untaxed transactions between patients and doctors as well as a differential in healthcare access based on the purchasing power of households.

Citations:
Data on per capita spending on health, general healthcare expenditure and public/private spending is available by OECD at https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/state/docs/chp_gr_english.pdf

Data on expenditure on preventive medicine is available on this SGI platform.

Τhe new law establishing the local heatlh care units (known as TOMY, see Law 4486/2017) around Greece was passed in August 2017.

Data on the number of health practioners, MRI units and scanners in Greece, in comparison to EU-28, is drawn on the European Commission’s publication available https://ec.europa.eu/health/sites/health/files/state/docs/2018_healthatglance_rep_en.pdf

OECD, Health at a Glance, 2019 (https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/docserver/4dd50c09-en.pdf?expires=1573899838&id=id&accname=guest&checksum=0AF638931BE42FB05F03185C22CE01DE)

Families

#29

To what extent do family support policies enable women to combine parenting with participation in the labor market?

10
 9

Family support policies effectively enable women to combine parenting with employment.
 8
 7
 6


Family support policies provide some support for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 5
 4
 3


Family support policies provide only few opportunities for women who want to combine parenting and employment.
 2
 1

Family support policies force most women to opt for either parenting or employment.
Family Policy
5
Greece has one of the strongest traditions of family ties in Europe. In both urban and rural areas, grandparents often look after preschool children while mothers work, families care for their elderly or disabled at home, parents help around the house and feed the younger generation, sometimes even into middle age. As a result, childcare density is among the lowest in the OECD. If a family is poor, this condition also negatively affects child poverty. Although the child-poverty rate declined from 22% in 2013 to 16% in 2018, this remains a serious challenge for Greece.

Instead of focusing on the poor and children, the bulk of social attention is focused on pensioners, often regardless of their income level. However, during the period under review, the government began distributing a benefit called Social Solidarity Income (first established in 2017; see “Social Inclusion”).

Women provide childcare at home and do not enter the labor market on an equal basis with men. This pattern has not changed significantly over time, even though between 2011 and 2017 there was an increase in female labor force participation. This slight change was owed to a drop in living conditions because of the crisis and the consequent drive of spouses and daughters to help with their families’ finances, particularly if male breadwinners had lost their jobs.

The best option for a woman entering the labor market would be to become a public employee. Notably, a young mother employed in the public sector receives much better support than a new mother employed in the private sector or self-employed. Female public employees are guaranteed their jobs, following maternity leave. They are also granted maternity leave without fear that, on returning to work, they may be allocated to a subordinate job or suffer a wage cut, as is the case for women employed in the private sector.

The Greek state does not have a streamlined policy to reconcile work and family life but rather heavily depends on the European Union. Around the country, many low-income families benefit from European Social Fund (ESF) projects, which finance many municipal nurseries. During the period under review, ESF-funded municipal nursery places were in high demand, as these places enabled parents to seek work.

In summary, the Greek state does not have a streamlined policy to reconcile work and family life, but instead depends on the traditional behavior and structure of the Greek family, as well as on funding from the European Union.

Citations:
Data on child poverty, enrollment in preschool services for children up to five years old and fertility rate is provided by the SGI database on this platform.

Pensions

#37

To what extent does pension policy realize goals of poverty prevention, intergenerational equity and fiscal sustainability?

10
 9

Pension policy achieves the objectives fully.
 8
 7
 6


Pension policy achieves the objectives largely.
 5
 4
 3


Pension policy achieves the objectives partly.
 2
 1

Pension policy does not achieve the objectives at all.
Pension Policy
4
The Greek pension system is a pay-as-you-go corporatist system, based on a multitude of occupational pension funds. Pensions have become a major policy issue because Greece, along with Italy and Germany, has the largest share of the total population aged 65 and older in the whole of the EU (over 20% of the total population).

In 2012, in the midst of the economic crisis when fiscal constraints were supposed to be the harshest possible, Greece spent 17.6% of GDP on pensions, more than any other EU member state. The problem has grown slightly since then, with 17.8% of GDP spent on pensions in 2015 (EU-28: 12.8%). In fact, the largest share of social-protection expenditure was devoted to pensions.

The pension system has been radically changed since 2010 by a range of reforms aimed at making the system more viable and seeking to limit public expenditures. The latest reform (Law 4387), in 2016, abolished all special arrangements, unified all pension-fund programs, and subsumed all rules on contributions and benefits under a new body (EFKA). This reform also established a general system of defined-benefit pension plans, and introduced a basic pension financed by general tax revenue. According to the law, the main pension is now made up of a national pension (set at €384 at the full rate, and financed by the state budget) and a “redistributive” pension calculated on the basis of the average reference wage over the whole working life, the length of contributions and the replacement rate.

The prospects for the Greek pension system are not good, as the country has one of the worst old-age dependency ratios in the OECD. Further, nearly one-third of the value of pension funds was lost following 2009 due to surging unemployment and a fall in contributions.

The pay-as-you-go system, according to which the working population contributes to pension funds so that old-age pensioners can obtain their pensions, is unsustainable. Since the start of the economic crisis, pension funds have periodically faced the prospect of bankruptcy, as the number of people who work and contribute to social insurance is shrinking, while the number of pensioners is increasing. Notably, the proportion of people aged 55 to 64 in work in Greece is the lowest of any OECD country, except Turkey.

The IMF points out that Greece spends more on old-age pensions, as a share of GDP, than the average euro area country. In the run-up to the election the previous government worsened the imbalance when it restored the pre-crisis practice of a bonus “13th month” pension.

Moreover, pension policy does not meet intergenerational equity requirements. Existing arrangements primarily serve the interests of middle- and old-age groups at the expense of younger generations of workers. This is a constant pattern running parallel to the periodic trimming of pensions. In May 2016, the government passed legislation which increased social insurance contributions and reduced the supplementary pensions for retirees. New pension legislation has cut pension payments by up to 30%, while poor policy design led to continuous legislative amendments of the 2016 pension reform. The last phase of this reform is expected to take place in January 2019, when, based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Greece and its creditors in the summer of 2015, the government should implement further cuts on pensions. If implemented, such cuts will affect pensioners who had benefited from past early-retirement legislation, before the onset of the crisis or were pensioned off just as the crisis started. Owing to their sheer size, this is a segment of the retired population which no government has tried to displease.

While the pension reform of 2016 had positive aspects (e.g., the establishment of a nationwide management system and unification of previously fragmented private sector pension programs), courts have found other of its aspects to be unconstitutional. For instance, in the period under review, the country’s supreme administrative court struck down several aspects of the reform pertaining to low replacement rates. All in all, Greece’s pension system remains unsustainable. Bluntly, there are currently about 2.7 million pensioners, along with another 300,000 recent retirees, while the recorded number of Greeks working and paying insurance contributions is around 3.6 million.

Citations:
Data on share of old people who work and old-age dependency ratio is drawn on the SGI data set, available on this platform.

Data on pension expenditure is drawn on Eurostat, available at https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Social_protection_statistics_-_pension_expenditure_and_pension_beneficiaries

Details on pension reform can be found in European Trade Union Institute, Pension Reform in Greece, https://www.etui.org/ReformsWatch/Greece/Pension-reform-in-Greece-background-summary

Integration

#36

How effectively do policies support the integration of migrants into society?

10
 9

Cultural, education and social policies effectively support the integration of migrants into society.
 8
 7
 6


Cultural, education and social policies seek to integrate migrants into society, but have failed to do so effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Cultural, education and social policies do not focus on integrating migrants into society.
 2
 1

Cultural, education and social policies segregate migrant communities from the majority society.
Integration Policy
4
While the numbers of migrants and refugees have dramatically fallen since 2015, Greece has remained unable to manage the inflows of people fleeing war-torn and poverty-stricken regions of the Middle East and Africa. In June 2019, the UNCHR reported that 134,000 refugees and asylum-seekers lived in Greece. The number of migrants passing through Greece was probably higher, but was difficult to determine. Most remained at reception centers or camps on the Greek islands facing Turkey, such as Lesbos, Chios and Samos.

On 18 March 2016, the EU and Turkey agreed on a joint statement to end irregular migration flows, ensure improved reception conditions for refugees in Turkey, and open up organized, safe and legal channels to Europe for Syrian refugees. In the following three years, the number of irregular arrivals fell by 97%, while the number of lives lost at sea also decreased substantially. However, disagreements over EU financial aid and the imposition of sanctions on Turkey for illegal drilling in Cyprus’ continental shelf complicated matters. On July 22, Erdogan threatened to suspend the migration deal. Since that time, the rate of migrant arrivals to the Greek islands has substantially increased. In October 2019 alone, a total of 6,868 migrants and refugees landed on the shores of the aforementioned Greek islands.

Because of the long and inefficient system by which asylum applications are processed, arriving migrants and refugees often find themselves stranded on the islands for a very long time (for the space of years). By the end of the period under review, a total of 15,000 migrants and refugees were concentrated in a single “hot spot,” the Moria camp on Lesbos. They lived in squalid conditions, as the camp’s capacity has been exceeded. Furthermore, Greek authorities have been unable to manage the camps in a way that would protect camp residents from human rights violations and health risks. To address these mounting problems, the Greek government that assumed power in July 2019 decided to gradually move segments of the rising population of migrants and refugees from the islands to camps scattered throughout Greece.

Meanwhile, EU authorities and NGOs have continued to provide significant support, as the situation has overwhelmed local Greek authorities. However, this valuable support to desperate people arriving on Greece’s shores in small boats does not extend to their educational and social integration. The integration of migrants (who arrived prior to 2016) into the education system has been functional at the primary and secondary level. As for social integration, this has never been a strong focus of Greek migration policy. With the exception of Albanians, who probably constitute more than half of all migrants in Greece and first came to the country in the early 1990s, the country’s migrants – including migrants from Asia and Africa – are systematically excluded from Greek society. With regard to cultural integration, it is telling that an official mosque for Muslims in Athens was finally opened only in June 2019.

In summary, significant challenges in terms of policy efficiency remain and policy setbacks are now obvious. Greece must reduce human suffering inside refugee camps. By now this has grown to become a problem that obviously cannot be managed individually by the Greek state and will remain unresolved as long as the aforementioned EU-Turkey agreement is not fully implemented.

Citations:
Information on the number of refugees in Greece is drawn on a Deutsche Welle report from Berlin, available at https://bit.ly/2MJ9pel

Such data was also drawn on CNN reports such as the article published in https://www.cnn.gr/news/ellada/story/195885/meres-toy-2015-323-afixeis-sti-mytilini-se-mia-mera-15-000-sti-moria-35-000-sta-nisia
The rest of data is drawn on international press reports (New York Times, BBC) and is available at:
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/25/world/europe/greece-migrant-camp-mental-health.html
and at:
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-44660699

Safe Living

#36

How effectively does internal security policy protect citizens against security risks?

10
 9

Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks very effectively.
 8
 7
 6


Internal security policy protects citizens against security risks more or less effectively.
 5
 4
 3


Internal security policy does not effectively protect citizens against security risks.
 2
 1

Internal security policy exacerbates the security risks.
Internal Security Policy
5
Despite the long-term economic crisis, homicide rates declined in 2011 – 2017; but so did the share of population claiming to feel personally safe and secure. Greece’s homicide rate was 0.8 per 100,000 inhabitants, well below an OECD average of 3.7. However, only about 60% of people said that they felt safe walking alone at night, less than the OECD average of 68%, despite the decline in most other types of crime (e.g., robbery, burglary, assault and rape) reported to the police.

The decline in homicide rates and other types of violent crime may be attributed to a few converging factors. First, family ties remain strong in Greece, and were further strengthened during the economic crisis. Thus, the unemployed and poor relied on family members for social protection. Second, with the exception of a few regions (e.g., the island of Crete), the circulation of firearms is very small and restricted.

The decrease may also be partially explained by the relatively high levels of government expenditure on public order and safety (constituting 2.2% of GDP in 2016, among the highest such levels in the EU-28). However, this does not mean that there was extensive, let alone efficient, policing of Greek cities. Expenditure was primarily channeled to sustain a large police force. It is telling that Greece exhibits the largest public expenditure on policing of any EU-28 country (1.4% of Greece’s GDP), though effectiveness is widely disputed.

Feelings of personal insecurity may be attributed to the fact that trust in the police is comparatively low. This is probably due to the unwillingness or incapability of the police to control a number of central neighborhoods in large cities where there are daily incidents of petty theft, burglaries and drug use.

Police have not offered sufficient protection for refugees and migrants against attacks by racist groups, including by militants of the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn. In the past, foreign migrants and refugees have been chased and beaten by Golden Dawn activists. Trials of those accused of perpetrating such attacks have lasted for an unjustifiably long time period.

Moreover, in the period under review, as in the past, there were frequent violent riots in central Athens and Thessaloniki organized by anarchist and extra-parliamentary left-wing groups. In almost all cases, the police, under orders by the Syriza-ANEL government (in power through July 2019), failed to intervene to protect state and private property. In some cases, police stations were physically attacked by some radical-left groups. Indeed, the Syriza-ANEL government showed considerable tolerance particularly toward groups that frequently engaged in low-intensity violence (e.g., throwing paint against the buildings of foreign embassies in Athens, or invading government or embassy buildings in order to distribute leaflets or smash windows). Many such groups also occupied empty private and public buildings in the center of Athens. In the summer and autumn of 2019, the new government (the New Democracy) ordered the police to empty such buildings of their occupants, and drafted criminal-law provisions intended to restrict the intruders’ activities.

In summary, in the period under review, even though the rates of some crimes (e.g., homicides and thefts) were low, there was broad public uneasiness regarding the security in Greek city centers, owing to activities by uncontrolled violent radical political groups.

Citations:
Data on homicides and thefts as well as trust toward police, is drawn on the SGI statistical data available on this platform. Also, data is derived from OECD Better Life Index 2016, http://www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org/topics/safety/
Data on government expenditure on public order and safety is available from Eurostat, https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Government_expenditure_on_public_order_and_safety

Global Inequalities

#31

To what extent does the government demonstrate an active and coherent commitment to promoting equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries?

10
 9

The government actively and coherently engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. It frequently demonstrates initiative and responsibility, and acts as an agenda-setter.
 8
 7
 6


The government actively engages in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. However, some of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 5
 4
 3


The government shows limited engagement in international efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries. Many of its measures or policies lack coherence.
 2
 1

The government does not contribute (and often undermines) efforts to promote equal socioeconomic opportunities in developing countries.
Global Social Policy
5
Until the onset of the economic crisis, Greece was active in assisting less developed countries. Since the crisis began, the country has focused on managing its own domestic social policy problems. Cuts in public sector expenditure significantly impacted Greece’s official development assistance (ODA). In 2017, Greece’s ODA as a share of GNI stood at 0.16%, far below the OECD average (0.32%). This continued to fall in 2018 (0.13%). While Greece continued to meet its multilateral commitments, including to European institutions, bilateral ODA was limited to expenditure on scholarships and in-country refugee costs. The 2018 Development Assistance Committee (DAC) Peer Review suggested that as the economy recovers and Greece considers increasing its expenditures on aid, the government should take steps to build a new vision for development cooperation, and establish structures and systems to deliver it. The report also noted that 82% of the 2011 Peer Review recommendations for Greece were not implemented, and the rest were only partially implemented. In general, the Greek government has shown very little interest in engaging in international efforts to help developing countries, and has not demonstrated any initiative, assumed responsibility or acted as an agenda-setter within the international framework. However, it supported all relevant EU and UN initiatives.

Citations:
Data on Official Development Assistance is provided by Tables available on this SGI platform and from DAC / OECD https://read.oecd-ilibrary.org/development/development-co-operation-report-2018_dcr-2018-en#page65.

OECD Development Cooperation Peer Reviews: Greece 2019 (https://www.oecd.org/dac/oecd-development-co-operation-peer-reviews-greece-2019-9789264311893-en.htm)
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