In the comments section of another blog that I follow, a very moving comment was posted recently by a regular commenter, LeaNder, to a post, “The parable of the divorce“. In the comment, I perceived that she was posing the following question – Why do most people blame the Germans for the problems of Greece? I replied as follows:
Your “cry from the heart” touched me. At first, I felt that I could not possibly say anything to you in response or agreement. However, on reflection, I wish to add this.
I have noted, with dismay, the attack on the Germans/Germany regarding the ongoing crisis in Greece. I perceive that there is a muddling of labels by the less-informed (as opposed to the well-informed) people of Europe (judging by articles in the media and blogs/comments on the internet). I have read numerous articles, written by ordinary Germans, that many things in Germany are not so wonderful for them either. So perhaps the muddle is that the reference to “Germany” is a reference to the German politicians in power and not a reference to the “German” people as a whole. However, this distinction does not warrant any further discussion because it does nothing to further a search for a solution to the real problem.
Without wishing to speak on behalf of Yanis Varoufakis, my interpretation of his obsession of blaming the Germans or Germany for the ills of Greece in particular and Europe in general is that it is rather sad and petty. I realize that, in an in-depth analysis of the development of the EU & the EMU and its subsequent faults, a case could be made against a number of country’s actions, but only in hindsight, since I cannot believe that the system was purposely set up to fail. But all of this backwards finger pointing does little to bring us to a proper and lasting solution. We must understand clearly what the problems are, but we are going to have to get out of reverse gear and start moving forwards. From the failure to solve or, at least mitigate, the Greek economic crisis, comes bitterness and recrimination. As a reason for failure, I for one cannot accept the excuse that it is the fault of Germany or the Germans.
Furthermore, there is still wider debate amongst all experts in their respective fields, some being academics or politicians, as to the root causes of the economic problems in Europe. To simply look for a scapegoat, as you put it, is not a very clever response to our problems.
So where do we go from here? One way is to keep the dialogue going between people, whatever their nationality. For only then will we be able to really understand each other and our respective problems.
And for this reason, I wish to thank Ioannis for spurring us on to question and question again. He is the “rebel’s conscience” (my phrase, not his).”
And it was from this point of view that I found the following article very interesting and informative. The article presents a balanced and objective view of the Greece vs Germany “game” that has been going on these past months. Except that it hasn’t been football being played!
“An Empire Strikes Back: Germany and the Greek Crisis is republished with permission of Stratfor.”