July 2024

The abusive, mismatched marriage of Germany and Greece staggers on

The Euro is like a rotten, dysfunctional marriage. The Greeks stay with their perceived abusers the Germans [and others] because at least they can continue to live in the family home – even if they suffer constant abuse, it hurts like hell and they are very unhappy.

Still the pain of the known is better than the unknown of leaving.

The Germans can bully and feel superior since they have the money to rescue their weak partner. By loaning their partner some more cash, they can pretend that they are “helping” and that the marriage can still go on for the sake of appearances. The Germans wouldn’t want any neighbours to discover that their Eurozone marriage is in tatters.

Of course the Germans and others knew that their Greek partner had some problems even before the marriage. The Greeks were poor and had been brought up in an unhappy childhood. But the Germans thought that the Greeks would become more German under the influence of German fiscal discipline. This didn’t work.

dysfunctional marriage 2

So here we are with a dance of marital death. The Germans hold the purse strings and can abuse the Greeks at will. The Greeks can continue to live in the marital home while also continuing to be miserable and to blame their wicked, domineering spouse for being so cruel and mean.

There is a word for this sort of dysfunctional victim/abuser/rescuer relationship in psychology – codependence. The victim is in denial and actually consorts with the abuser/rescuer – instead of trying sort out their own lives and the reasons for their failure to manage their own lives better. They prefer to continue to stay in an unhappy marriage, despite the pain of being reminded almost daily of yet another failure by the so called “strong” one.

Until one partner walks away the dance or the “game” will continue and there’s basically little or no chance of rehabilitation or cure for either party. The Euro really is a disaster. A catholic marriage with no divorce. Perhaps the warring partners should have read this book that I came across;

dysfunctional marriage

It seems rather appropriate for the current Eurozone chaos.

After this fiasco, the Greeks will harbour resentments not only towards their government (no doubt justified) but towards the rest of Europe and the Germans in particular. The whole episode is baffling – the creditors know (but can’t admit to their voters) that they won’t get their money back. The sooner they acknowledge the fact and write the debts off the better. Against that more positive background it would be much easier to persuade the Greeks to toe a more responsible line.

Extreme humilation, however justified you feel it to be, is rarely an effective form of education, punishment, rehabilitation – call it what you will. A bitter, permanent grudge is not a useful ingredient in intra-eurozone relationships.

No country has behaved well in this sorry mess. The Northern European countries have wrapped themselves up in pious self-righteousness as they punish the Greeks for the failures of previous Greek governments even though the Northern countries knew all along that the Greeks had been lying, fiddling the figures and spending money they didn’t have like a profligate teenager who has ‘borrowed’ his rich parents’ credit cards. The Club Med countries have resisted any concessions to Greece because they’re terrified of anti-austerity revolts in their own countries.

Still, it’s highly entertaining to watch the EU-elites bludgeon each other in their desperate attempts to breathe life into their failing, anti-democratic, imperialistic project to create a single, European superstate run by self-serving, corrupt, wasteful and incompetent bureaucrats.

4 comments to The abusive, mismatched marriage of Germany and Greece staggers on

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