Historical Intelligence

11 02 2012

Category; Politics

© EPA/Orestis Panagiotou

They are burning German flags in Athens.

Hardly surprising.

Whoever is crunching the numbers in Berlin, Paris and Brussels, whoever is shaping European financial policy has a tin ear to the echoes of the past.

There were cheering crowds when the Germans marched into Greece in WWII – anyone seemed better than their historical enemy, the Italians.

The optimism was misplaced, and Greece paid an awful price. A truly horrendous price.

So when the sensible EU financial bureaucrats suggest a financial overlord is sent to make sure Greece lives up to its commitments, some people wonder whether he would be called Gauleiter. As the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, IMF) impose more and more demands, with an Euro policy steered by Berlin, it is hardly surprising Greeks become resistant.

Mainly because the unworldly European technocrats lack an understanding beyond the confines of their expertise, and cannot foresee the memories conjured by the way they are acting.

And they do not think about what came in Europe a decade before the War; that the people in a country facing economic collapse, who have no hope, easily latch onto the illusions of extremism. They do not understand that history repeats itself, and may do so in another echo, when the Greeks vote in April.

For details of Greece’s wartime experience, see Mark Mazower’s excellent book; Inside Hitler’s Greece

For an interesting article on this topic – click here, from The Telegraph

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