Chapter 8: Striking the right balance between autonomy and assumption of responsibility: A way forward for social dialogue in Greece
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Would the economic performance of Greece be different if social partners had agreed to changes in the pension system in the 1990s? Would the 2008 recession have lasted for less if social partners had engaged in dialogue? It is tempting to answer in the affirmative to both questions. Social partners have not stood up to the tasks and neither have the governments of the last few decades. Unions call for collective bargaining, but their revealed preference appears to be recourse to arbitration. Employers argue that global competitiveness imposes cost cuts but have not prepared their businesses for the digital revolution. The government transfers its own responsibilities for policy measures to the social partners. The chapter presents the framework in which the above have unfolded, provides examples of successful actions that took place in Greece when social partners co-operated, highlights the challenges ahead and the need to involve civil society.

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