DOI: /10.17818/SM/2021/1.2

Original scientific paper

After the Storm: Party Systems in Southern Europe in the Wake of the Eurocrisis

2022, 1 (1)   p. 19-39

Višeslav Raos


For years, the countries of Southern Europe have struggled with the consequences of the sovereign debt crisis. Under external pressure they enacted harsh austerity measures which resulted in shaken trust in the European Union, new protest movements and the entrance of new political parties in legislatures and governments. A decade later, this paper poses the question whether the storm of the European sovereign debt crisis has left an impact on Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain. The article focuses on changes on the macro-level and analyzes party system changes with the help of data from the CMP/MARPOR dataset. The paper deals with changes in the attitude towards the European Union, the position on the left-right scale (RILE), as well as economic and welfare policy. The analysis has shown a weak decrease in positive attitudes towards the EU in Italy, a moderate leftward shift of the Spanish party system, as well as a moderate decrease in positive attitudes towards the role of the state in the economy in the Greek case. In conclusion, one can say that ten years after the European sovereign debt crisis it is not possible to speak of drastic party system change in Greece, Italy, Portugal, and Spain and that external pressure has not succeeded in having an impact on the fact that Southern European party systems are, in general, titled towards the left.


Southern Europe, European sovereign debt crisis, Euroscepticism, policy shift, electoral manifestos


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