I liked this image and headline from today's Eleftherotypia – Heil… measures! – which neatly sums up Greece's deteriorating relationship with our German rulers, who want Greeks to know how cold the sea is and what it feels like to be drowning before allowing them onto the life-raft, i.e. Greece will have to implement more German-inspired austerity measures before Berlin agrees to financial support that will prevent Greece defaulting on its debt and being declared bankrupt.
In a way, I find this spat with the Germans edifying, particularly since it has made apparent German racism and what northern Europeans really think about Greeks, who for too long have been living under the illusion that Europe is just one big happy family based on solidarity and mutual respect. Greeks believed their own tourist propaganda about everyone loving Greece and the Greeks, but at least now they know that contempt between nations and peoples is the normal state of affairs and that to survive and prosper a country must have a healthy disdain and mistrust for its neighbours and those who it does business with. Our forefathers divided the world into Greeks and barbarians – this was the case in Byzantium as well as in the classical period – and modern Greeks would do well to do the same.
As for former foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos' correct view (see video below) that the Germans have no moral authority to lecture anyone, and particularly Greece, on stealing, cheating and so on; again the furore his comments have caused – a furore I don't think Pangalos, who seemed to make the remarks more in jest than anger, intended – may prove beneficial since they have at least had the effect of making Greeks consider their history, made them realise that they do have a history, which tells them a great deal about who they are and what they should become.