This paper analyses variation in the degrees of difficulty involved in negotiating and implementing loan programmes with the international lenders in Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. All three countries displayed high degrees of ultimate compliance with fiscal consolidation and structural adjustment conditionality, but the pace of implementation varied significantly. This paper argues that ‘domestic ownership’ of the loan programmes is a key determinant of outcomes, understood in terms of two dimensions: negotiating capacity and implementation capacity. Empirical evidence confirms that these concepts provide a strong explanatory framework for understanding variation in relations between national governments and the international lenders.
Research Centre in Political Science at the University of Minho