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Economic Emergency and the Loss of Faith in the Greek Constitution: How Does a Constitution Function when it is Dying?

Afroditi Ioanna Marketou

Keywords: Economic Emergency; Eurocrisis; Greek Constitutional Politics; Constitutional Change; Constitutional Faith

The legal story of the Eurozone crisis is by now well known. Most commentators have focused on the impact of the crisis on the organisation of the European Union. However, the dominant Eurocentric discourse has neglected the important changes brought about by the crisis in the constitutions of ‘weak’ Member States—those who have received financial assistance. Domestic scholars are typically unable to offer a coherent account, let alone justification, of these transformations from a constitutional law point of view. Outside the domestic sphere, constitutional change within ‘crisishit’ countries has not attracted enough attention; it is considered not to be the problem, but rather the solution or an inevitable side-effect of the European developments. Still, it is precisely these ‘weak’ states that form exemplary cases for the study of how economic emergency and European integration operate in the domestic sphere of liberal constitutional democracies. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on this ‘dark side’ of the Eurocrisis, through the study of a particular, albeit exemplary, national case: Greece. How was the Greek Constitution deconstructed by legal means? How do domestic actors justify the significant constitutional-political changes brought about by the Eurocrisis? How can we observe the loss of faith in the Greek Constitution?

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