The divorce: a story of the Greek-European relationship
The relationship of Greece and its European creditors reminds me of the last stages of a bad marriage. I apologise in advance for the gender stereotypes, but parables work best when they are direct.
Things have been bad for a while, years in fact, but the couple stays together for the children (the Greek people).
The husband (Europe) is sick of his wife (Greek government). She has let herself go (she is fiscally irresponsible), she does not take care of herself (corruption is endemic) and is frankly bad for the children (the people). She has gone on all these diets that he suggested (austerity) yet none sticks and she is getting worse. He is sick of waiting for things to get better, if it weren’t for the kids (and some complex family money issues) they would have split ages ago. There is simply no love there anymore. Yes she made him who he is (European civilisation) but one has to move on.
The wife is not so hot on the relationship either. Yes, she is totally financially dependent on him, but she has her dignity too! He made her go on all these diets, she hardly recognises herself anymore and the kids are very unhappy. What is the point of going on as he clearly does not want her? He only married her to begin with as he was obsessed with growing his family (Euro accession). How will she live though? She could go back to what she was doing before (Drachma) but she was way larger then and not very classy, and most of the kids would be unhappy too.
This marriage will not make it, we all know that. But there is something which does not work with our parable. In couples like this generic stereotype, the kids eventually grow up and then the couple splits. The Greek people will not grow up. They will not accept the reduction of living standards that the break up will bring, neither can they live with mom’s diet (austerity). Therefore the unhappy marriage will continue, indefinitely.