Public pensions in Greece
Public pensions in Greece are designed to provide incomes to Greek pensioners upon reaching retirement. For decades pensions in Greece were known to be among the most generous in the European Union, allowing many pensioners to retire earlier than pensioners in other European countries. This placed a heavy burden on Greece's public finances which made the Greek state increasingly vulnerable to external economic shocks, culminating in a recession due to the 2008 financial crisis and subsequent European debt crisis. This series of crises has forced the Greek government to implement economic reforms aimed at restructuring the pension system and eliminating inefficiencies within it. Measures in the Greek austerity packages imposed upon Greek citizens by the European Central Bank have achieved some success at reforming the pension system despite having stark ramifications for standards of living in Greece, which have seen a sharp decline since the beginning of the crisis.