Watching the trips Greece's PM Giorgos Papandreou has made to Germany and France over the last few days, meeting on Friday with Chancellor Angela Merkel and yesterday with President Nicola Sarkozy; it was interesting to observe the difference between the German and French reaction to the Greek economic crisis.
The Germans have taken the opportunity of Greece's meltdown to indulge in racist outbursts complaining about Greek laziness and thievery and offensive and humourless suggestions urging the Greeks to sell their islands and cultural heritage. At the press conference with Papandreou and Merkel, a German journalist even had the impudence and bad manners to put directly to the leaders the insulting idea of discarding Greek islands. I'm not aware of any similar anti-Greek hysteria in the French media, and the press conference with Papandreou and Sarkozy was an altogether more serious and dignified affair.
What do we conclude from this? That northern Europeans are idiots and barbarians, while civilisation and philotimo/savoir faire continue to be the property of Mediterranean Europe.