This paper aims to make a substantive comparison of the way different national judiciaries in the Eurozone have reviewed the constitutionality of austerity measures. In order to engage in a useful comparative exercise, the common theme I will analyse in these judgments is the issue of proportionality. I will focus on Portugal and Greece as two extremes of constitutional review: The Portuguese Constitutional Court has repeatedly struck down austerity measures as violating the principle of proportionality, whereas the Greek Council of State has shown, so far, extreme deference to the legislative choices of Parliament to deal with the financial crisis.
However, the final point I wish to make goes beyond this comparison. Using some insights from Robert Alexy’s theory of balancing as benchmark, I will also attempt to evaluate the persuasiveness (or rationality) of constitutional review in Portugal and Greece. Additionally, I will argue that Alexy’s insights may prove valuable also in the context of judicial review of austerity measures under the HRA here in Britain.