The Greek Tragedy (hint, it’s not economic!)

A brief post this time – here’s the most recent news about the ongoing Greek crisis.

This article reminded me of two questions I have heard recently…

“How much more austerity can Greece really take?” and “So is Greece turning into a protectorate or something?”

Responding to the first question, not much more seems to be the answer.  During Europe’s recent cold snap, Greece has struggled with providing shelter to many of the nations newly homeless.  And you know things are bad when The Guardian describes your economic troubles as “going through one of the biggest slumps in western history.” As for that second question, for a while now, Greeks have been comparing the austerity measures to Germany’s occupation during World War II.  In a more recent version of this anti-German sentiment, a Greek newspaper ran a Photoshopped picture of Angela Merkel – in full Nazi attire (yikes!).

That’s a low blow, Greece, the Germans still feel guilty about that conquering Europe and killing lots of people thing…well, at least most of them do

However, these hostilities do revolve around some very real political problems that the “Troika” (the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the IMF) have not remotely addressed – the EU’s “democracy deficit” has reached an all time high in Greece.  For those unfamiliar with the concept, the democracy deficit is a long-standing critique of EU politics in that policy-making has increasingly moved away from democratically elected leaders and towards technocrats (or the “Eurocrats” as some like to call them) who have little accountability to the people.  As a result of this largely self-inflicted Greek debt crisis (I’ll give you sympathy, Greece, on how this is being handled, but let’s face it, your government lied about its behavior), the Greek people have seen their ruling party adopting policies that run counter to their party platforms (yes, Americans, party matters in Europe…), their Prime Minister basically forced out of office to get a bailout deal, and German tax collectors roaming the countryside.  In light of these events, it’s little wonder that the Greeks feel they’ve lost control of their own country.

In contrast, you get this news coming out of Germany: “German economy: optimism amidst the slowdown.”  Probably not helping that Greek resentment thing…

So, what are your thoughts on the Greek crisis and this rise in anti-German feelings?


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