The Capitanian (middle Permian) extinction and recovery event is examined in carbonate platform settings from western Tethys (Hungary and Hydra, Greece). The age model for these sections is poorly resolved and we have constructed a δ13C chemostratigraphic correlation scheme, supported by conodont and foraminifer data, which attempts correlation with the well-dated events in China. This reveals the timing of events was similar in all Tethyan regions: extinction losses in the middle of the Capitanian produced late Capitanian assemblages in Hungary and Hydra with a distinctive late Permian character (for example, they lack large fusulinaceans). There is no evidence for an extinction event at the end of the Guadalupian (Capitanian) suggesting that previous claims for an end-Guadalupian mass extinction are based on poorly dated records of a mid-Capitanian event. Base level was stable through much of the middle–late Permian transition with the exception of a major regression within the Capitanian Stage. The subsequent transgression established widespread shallow-water carbonate deposition, such as the Episkopi Formation in Hydra and the Nagyvisnyó Limestone Formation in Hungary.