It was not so long ago austerity was better known as a word meaning sternness and severity of attitude, or plainness and simplicity.

These days it is synonymous with spending cuts and tax increases to reduce government debt.

In the case of some European countries, it also means measures imposed as strict conditions of government bailouts.

Pushing back against this policy are the many anti-austerity movements and political parties.

Greece's Syriza party won parliamentary elections in January promising to ditch austerity, but it now appears to be accepting painful concessions to satisfy its creditors.

The backlash over the financial crisis and subsequent austerity cuts appear to have taken a heavy political toll, with a shift in power in eight of the 18 Eurozone countries.

Anti-austerity protests are continuing, but how will a setback for Greece affect the ambitions of other protest parties and anti-austerity movements?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan

Guests:

James Meadway - senior economist at the New Economics Foundation, and one of the original signatories to the call for a People's Assembly Against Austerity

Susana Martine Belmonte - anti-austerity activist and specialist on monetary reforms and social currencies

Vicky Pryce - chief economic adviser at the Centre for Economic and Business Research

Source: Al Jazeera