Analysis on the European Union and the Concept of Welfare in the Context of the Economic Crisis the Cases of Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy

Analysis on the European Union and the Concept of Welfare in the Context of the Economic Crisis the Cases of Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Italy

Luis Rodrigo Rodrigo Asturias Schaub (Universidad Rafael Landivar, Guatemala)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-4981-9.ch003
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The economic crisis of 2007 is still a matter of preoccupation for the countries around the World. The effect of the economic crisis is still in the agendas of many regions, including Europe. The present paper analyzes the effect of the economic crisis on one of the most important values of the European Union: wellbeing. The analysis leads us to the response of two main questions that elaborated the document: What is the current situation in Europe? What is the effect of the current situation in the wellbeing of Greece, Portugal, Spain, and Italy? The countries were chosen because of the similar situation they have concerning debt, inflation, unemployment and the search for immediate solutions. The empirical analysis based an inductive process and correlation and graphical analysis exemplify the situation of wellbeing in Europe.
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Europe is immersed in a debacle about its development and economic crisis. During the last ten years, the European system was based on the well-being policy that is reflected in the quality of life of its inhabitants and in its high indices of human development.

It is based on this was created a social treaty susceptible to maintain stability before an imminent union. The European Union (EU) raised this goal in the Maastricht Treaty, in which it established the main values and the recipe for them to be pre-eminent.

They set out to avoid a superpower, collaborate in security, maintain values and sustain the welfare offered over the years.

In 2007 the first challenge for the EU was presented, through the economic crisis that began in the United States as a financial crisis. This crisis, with more severe dimensions than in the thirties or the nineties, dismayed much of the world as it expanded through electronic banking and into the globalized market.

The case of Greece began to be news in the world media, when faced with a debt greater than 100% of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The EU resolution was to bail it out three times through loans, while the Greek people were struggling with political issues, lack of income, high unemployment and few ways to pay their debt in the long run. The case of Greece has not yet seen the solution and gives signs of difficulty in its recovery.

Spain becomes more evident in the stock market of Madrid, with the continuous falls that at the end of 2008 began to create concern. Unemployment began to grow and has remained within the highest ranks worldwide. The country has not recovered, has seen a significant drop in services offered and gives rise to massive movements that show discontent.

Italy and Portugal have similar problems. The Italian case has high debt rates, low inflation and low GDP growth, while Portugal exhibits the same picture, only with greater weaknesses.

It is common to analyze economic effects without noticing the social consequences. An analysis based on the Maastricht treaties is then drawn up to consider welfare in the most committed countries in Europe.

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