The measures put in place to combat the economic crisis were aimed at reducing the total public sector wage bill in the euro zone peripheral countries. The contribution provides an updated interpretation of the rationale behind these measures—suited to solve a balance of payments crisis, rather than a fiscal crisis—which is suitable for the core/periphery structure of the EMU (Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union). The permanent (rather than transitory) nature of these measures calls into question the traditional role of the public sector employment, and their compatibility with the constitutional rights typical of the welfare state
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