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This paper looks at the compatibility of EU anti-crisis measures with some key elements of the EU legal system. In particular, it focuses on the financial assistance programmes devised to rescue some EU Member States that, due to their unsustainably high public debts, came under severe pressure from the financial markets. In all these cases, recipient States have been invariably required to adopt draconian austerity measures in order to have access to the financial help. This paper argues that some of the conditions attached to the assistance packages raise doubts as to their compatibility with a number of basic social principles and objectives that represent the foundations of the EU social dimension. This is the case with regard to the social objectives enshrined in the Treaties, the allocation of competences between the EU and Member States in the social field and, lastly, some of the social rights contained in the Charter of Fundamental Rights.