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Reforming state budgeting in the vortex of policy conditionality, political instability and technical support flux

Sandra Cohen (Department of Business Administration, Athens University of Economics and Business, Athens, Greece)
Sotirios Karatzimas (Department of Accounting and Finance, Neapolis University, Paphos, Cyprus)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 5 May 2021

Issue publication date: 13 April 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Greece had to undertake several reforms under intense policy conditionality pressures – stemming from the three financial support programs agreed between the Greek Government and the Troika – and political instability. Within this context, this study aims to analyze the role of politicians and technical assistance staff in the administrative reform of the Greek state budget.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts the approach of an extreme country-case study which is analyzed through a theoretical framework with insights from the resource dependency theory and the concept of policy conditionality. The theoretical framework is supported by documents of the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, including the technical Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) and their progress reports and is informed by the outcome of interviews with General Accounting Office executives.

Findings

While the budget reform eventually met the MoU requirements, the frequent changes at the government level, the constant renegotiations with the Troika that initiated changes to the plan and the instability of the technical assistance teams formed to support the reform contributed to important implementation delays.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the research agenda on accounting reforms during periods of financial crises by providing evidence on the role of politicians’ level of ownership and technical assistance staff contribution.

Keywords

Citation

Cohen, S. and Karatzimas, S. (2022), "Reforming state budgeting in the vortex of policy conditionality, political instability and technical support flux", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 30 No. 2, pp. 293-312. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-04-2020-0841

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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