Representations of the economic crisis and austerity politics

Authors: Veneti, A., Poulakidakos, S., Triga, V., Milioni, D., Sammut, C., Verissimo, I. and Alvares, C.

Editors: Novelli, E., Holtz-Bacha, C. and Rafter, K.

Publisher: Palgrave Macmilan

Place of Publication: London

ISBN: 978-1-137-56981-3

In the period between the 2009 and 2014 elections to the European Parliament, the international economic recession and related global debt crisis impacted seriously in several European Union (EU) member states. Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus all required external financial support. The word ‘Troika’ entered the vocabulary in these countries – and was added to the EU’s extensive lexicon – as economic sovereignty was surrendered in return for financial support from the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank and the European Commission.

Similarly, the word ‘austerity’ came, in many counties, to describe the package of taxation increases, expenditures reductions and other economic reforms required as part of a Troika support programme. The rights and wrongs of debt fuelled growth and bank bailouts packages shaped political discourse not just in member states seeking sovereign external support but also placed great strain on the European project and raised real questions about the very future of the eurozone. The discussion draws on the content analysis data set generated from the assessment of posters and videos in the 2014 European Parliament election. The subsample in this chapter – focused on countries which experienced significant economic decline due to the post-2008 crisis – includes 321 items – 188 posters and 133 videos – which enables significant comparisons of trends and differences in six member states (Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Italy and Malta). Moving beyond this core group of countries, in the final section of the chapter we examine how themes such as ‘austerity’ were also evident in other member states and discuss how the economic backdrop to 2014 elections was evident in posters and broadcast spots produced by parties and candidates across the EU.

Authors: Veneti, A., Novelli, E., Rafter, K., Poulakidakos, S., Verissimo, I., Alvares, C. and Sammut, C.

Editors: Holtz-Bacha, C., Novelli, E. and Rafter, K.

Publisher: Palgrave McMillan

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