Update: Dear readers – the article I read and linked to in this blog post is currently down while the author attempts to navigate copyright legislation. It was a translation of an article that appeared in DIE ZEIT (the times) and I assume they contacted him for publishing the translation without permission. It’s still a good read (even better maybe) in German, but if that’s not your cup of tea, I will try to post a second update when and if the English translation appears again.

As usual, it’s easy to quickly dismiss a perspective that doesn’t fit into our own narratives and belittle or enfranchise those who disagree. As a European outside, I enjoy a certain distance from the issue of sovereign Greek debt, but the issue permeates the news around Europe.

The following article throws a wrench into the strong banter between Greece and Germany. These two countries are looking at the same issue and have developed extremely different interpretations. In fact, there’s no rational way to reconcile their differences: Germans claim that Greeks are whiny and lazy while Greeks claim that Europe is trying to humiliate them.

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I’m always prompted to take caution in a matter when people hold vastly opposing interpretations. Although it would be nice if were some formula that could be applied to solve this, none seems to exist (or at least none seems readily accessible or agreeable). We as people seem to be a little willy-nilly in handling things like this, all too often giving the preference for those best able to handle it themselves and withholding from those most needy.

This is a complicated matter and I don’t mean to imply that Greece should be handed a few hundred billion Euros by linking the article. It should make us step back and ask lots of questions before framing our understanding, however.