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The Troika’s variations on a trio: Why the loan programmes worked so differently in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal


  • Niamh Hardiman

    (School of Politics and International Relations, and Geary Institute for Public Policy, University College Dublin, Ireland)

  • Joaquim Filipe Araújo

    (Department of International Relations and Public Administration, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal)

  • Muiris MacCarthaigh

    (School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, and the George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, UK)

  • Calliope Spanou

    (Department of Political Science and Public Adminstration, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece)


Portugal and Ireland exited Troika loan programmes; Greece did not. The conventional narrative is that different outcomes are best explained by differences in national competences in implementing programme requirements. This paper argues that three factors distinguish the Greek experience from that of Ireland and Portugal: different economic, political, and institutional starting conditions; the ad hoc nature of the European institutions’ approach to crisis resolution; and the very different conditionalities built into each of the loan programmes as a result. Ireland and Portugal show some signs of recovery despite austerity measures, but Greece has been burdened beyond all capacity to recover convincingly.

Suggested Citation

  • Niamh Hardiman & Joaquim Filipe Araújo & Muiris MacCarthaigh & Calliope Spanou, 2017. "The Troika’s variations on a trio: Why the loan programmes worked so differently in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal," Working Papers 201711, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucd:wpaper:201711

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. repec:ilo:ilowps:480595 is not listed on IDEAS
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    More about this item


    Loan programme; Eurozone crisis; Troika; European periphery; conditionality;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E02 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Institutions and the Macroeconomy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy; Modern Monetary Theory
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • H30 - Public Economics - - Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents - - - General
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods

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