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Greece: Reform of Social Welfare Programmes

image of Greece: Reform of Social Welfare Programmes

This review provides an analytical perspective of the current situation, including the construction of a database, in order to help the Greek government define reforms to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and fairness of selected social programmes. The review identifies gaps and overlaps in social protection, and highlights areas where there is room for significant efficiency gains, in order to support informed and concrete decisions by the Greek government on where budgetary savings can most appropriately be made, taking into account the balance between societal groups and the need to maintain social cohesion.

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Government expenditure in Greece in 2010

Greece’s public expenditures relative to GDP are broadly in line with the average for the euro area. In 2010, Greece spent approximately half of its GDP to finance general government expenditures, less than a percentage point below the euro area average (Figure F.1). Preliminary data for 2011 suggest that recent cuts in primary expenditures have been offset by an increase in spending to finance the government debt and have not significantly affected the share of GDP that finances general government expenditures.

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