Reporting the Eurozone’s Crisis: Lessons from the Greek Front (*)

Over the past two years, the economic crisis that has engulfed Greece has also thrust me in front of the microphones and note pads of the myriad journalists who descended upon Athens to report on the unfolding drama. In this sense, I have not only been witnessing the evolution of Greece’s (and the eurozone’s) meltdown but also the struggle of the world’s media to make sense of it. In this article I summarise what I think are three important lessons to be drawn from this experience on behalf of journalists attempting to strike the difficult balance between (a) the need to produce stories that resonate with their editors, readers, audiences, viewers and (b) the almost infinite complexity of the underlying story. The three lessons that I want to focus on I shall refer to, respectively, as the error of generalisation, the fallacy of aggregation, and the perils of compartmentalisation.

 The error of generalisation

 The Crash of 1929, and the subsequent Great Depression, ought to have taught us an important lesson: that a cascade of both private and public bankruptcies (which begins with the collapse of the big banks, then spreads to the public debt of the weaker nations and, later, infects the real economy with the virus of recession) ends up not only threatening the common currency of the era (the Gold Standard in 1929, the euro today) but also engendering a breakdown of the vision of shared prosperity. In the absence of some supra-national Leviathan (like the one Keynes proposed in 1944) to “keep us all in awe”, and thus maintain cross border cooperation in the aftermath of a crisis, a Hobbesian war of “all against all” looms.

The war of words starts the moment we utter sentences beginning with “The Greeks do this” or “The Germans think that”. In 1929, that war of words, the ‘blame game’ if you want, led to another type of war which, paradoxically, killed millions and the crisis itself. One might have hoped that, this time around, we will have learnt our lesson. For while the armoured brigades have not moved (and will hopefully remain in their barracks), the war of words is now alive and well in Germany and in Greece, in the Netherlands and in Spain, in Austria and in Ireland.

Our very own generation’s 1929, the Credit Crunch of 2008 and the subsequent Great Recession, has occasioned much talk in Europe about The Germans, The Greeks, The British even (especially after David Cameron decided to break ranks with the European Union on the issue of the recent Treaty changes). Our collective task, and in particular that of enlightened journalists, is to shout from the rooftops that there is no such thing as The Greeks or The Germans or, for that matter, The Brits. We are all individuals, as Brian famously struggled to convince his self appointed disciples. And we have more diversity among our people, both in terms of views and character, than we have differences across our nations.

So, when reporting from the frontlines of the economic collapse, journalists have a duty to highlight the breadth of opinion within Greece, within Germany, within Britain, rather than gloss over that diversity opting instead for the comforting, yet potentially destructive, familiarity of national stereotypes. Maintaining a healthy resistance to generalisation is not only the journalist’s humanist duty but, also, a prerequisite for accurate reporting of the crisis’ causes.

Take, once again, the case of Greece. Journalists need metaphors with which to help their audience get a handle on an economic collapse, its causes and nature. One such allegory that has been employed extensively in order to narrate the eurozone’s drama is Aesop’s fable of the Ant and the Grasshopper. The Germanic Ant is pitted against the Greek Grasshopper in the context of a morality tale that combines northern industry, southern sloth and some flimsy economic analysis of the monetary dislocation that follows.

The trouble with metaphors of this sort is that they are almost irresistible. So, journalists hard pressed to produce a story that resonates nicely with their constituency’s prejudices end up slavishly reproducing the metaphor’s logic; e.g. Germans are portrayed as hard workers that must bail out the spendthrift Greeks, just like the ants etc. etc. It is as if, the moment the metaphor was chosen, the story had already been written up with no serious thought given to its analytic value.

Now, I am all for metaphors. There is nothing like them for conveying complex stories to a readership, or an audience, that allocates a severely limited amount of time to them. Nevertheless, it is incumbent upon journalists to use the metaphor to approach reality, as opposed to being ‘used’ by their own metaphor in order, effectively, to distort reality. To succeed in this task, journalists must bend their chosen metaphor to the demands of truth-telling. Resisting the lure of generalisation is essential.

In the case examined here, of Greece and Germany, the fact is that the ants and the grasshoppers are distributed across the division separating surplus from deficit eurozone nations. Once we recognise that both Germany and Greece, indeed the whole of the eurozone, contain neglected ants and over-pampered grasshoppers, we suddenly have the makings of a more nuanced story. One that allows us to ask probing questions about the way in which both Germany’s and Greece’s hard working ants feel disgruntled and shortchanged by the Greek and German grasshoppers which, during the ‘good’ times lived parasitically off them while now, during the ‘lean years’, once more, they are again demanding, from the ants, bail out money and higher taxes.

In short, metaphors are crucial for storytelling and analytical purposes. But we must hone them in a manner that helps, rather than hinders, our grasp of the underlying causes. And this means escaping the error of generalisation.

The Fallacy of Aggregation

When visiting a country in economic meltdown (Greece being a useful case in point) it is important to come equipped with a simple, yet counter-intuitive, insight: Recipes for tackling debt do not add up! By this I mean that journalists must always interrogate their instinctual views on the causes of the crisis that they are covering and, in particular, of what ‘common sense’ dictates as the remedy.

For example, what recipe does common sense recommend for getting out of financial trouble as a person, a family, a firm? The answer surely is to lower your expenses in order to rein in the red ink on your balance sheet. And to work harder and more intelligently. However, when this recipe is taken to a higher level of aggregation, it simply does not add up. To see this, suppose that, in a bid to reduce our individual and collective debt during a crisis (what financial economists refer to as deleveraging), each one of us follows this same recipe and at the same time. The result, I submit to you, may be quite the opposite of that intended. Indeed, aggregate real debt may rise!

To see why these individual recipes do not add up to a collectively efficacious strategy, consider the great difference between your family (or firm) and the economy at large. In the case of your family, if your income has declined, and you are facing a shortfall at the end of each month, cutting down on expenses is a sensible course of action for one simple reason: Your income is independent of your expenses. For instance, if you do not eat out tonight (and, instead, cook at home), your income has not suffered and, as you have reduced your expenses, your balance is healthier.

In sharp contrast, an aggregate economy’s income is not independent of its expenditure. Indeed, the two are one and the same thing! (The nation’s aggregate income equals exactly its aggregate expenditure.) To see why this matters, suppose that the whole country is tightening its proverbial belt, with families and firms ‘deleveraging’ at once. Private expenditure will be, naturally, falling (in aggregate). Now if, on top of that, the government also reduces its expenditure (in an effort to shrink its deficits), then the sum of private and public expenditure will decline. But what is that sum equal to? The answer is: National income! As national income shrinks, the state’s tax revenue falls, families have less money to pay down debt, and the nation’s overall capacity to repay its debts diminishes. Thus, we all fall collectively into the trap of ‘common sense’; of the fallacy of aggregation; of mistakenly thinking that a recipe which is good for families and firms must be good for an indebted country in aggregate.

For many months, since the eruption of the Greek debt saga, I was struggling to put this simple point across to the many journalists that I met. It was hard work. The fallacy of aggregation was deeply entrenched in their minds. When asking me questions about Greece’s ‘bail out’ loans, and the importance of the austerity conditions that were attached to these loans, my claim that the whole idea was flawed did not resonate with them. However hard I tried to explain the flawed logic, the journalists seemed wedded to the idea that when a country like Greece has a large deficit, and a huge debt, a substantial reduction in government spending, and a hike in taxation, must be the answer.

Months later, when the government spending cut backs and the tax rises caused the recession to deepen and the debt-to-national income ratio to balloon, I noticed that the mood amongst journalists changed. Alas, in the meantime, they had authored piece upon piece that misinformed their readers and misled their audiences.

With this in mind, and as the crisis continues to weave its poisonous web across countries and sectors, I hope that journalists will weave into their reporting a modicum of doubt that economic ‘recipes’ add up the way that ‘conventional wisdom’ has it.

The perils of compartmentalisation

During my ‘tenure’ as frequent interlocutor of the international press corps ‘flying by’ Athens, I noticed an interesting division of labour. Reporters and television or radio crews would fall in three more or less distinct categories: The hard news crew, the background briefing mission and, less frequently, the human interest angle.

The hard news folks’ approach was of the ‘hardnosed’, quick off the mark, no nonsense type. They wanted the ‘facts’ and the figures, the insider information, the instant prediction of what-the-government-would-do or the how-the-market-would-move kind of response. The background briefing lot were more relaxed, operated under longer deadlines and, thus, had the time and space to ask similar questions but in a manner that allowed us, the interviewees, more room to unravel some narrative on the background and the unseen aspects of the story. Lastly, journalists working on human interest pieces had no time for the ‘causes’ of the economic crises, next to no interest for the underlying tectonic plates whose movements caused ruptures in the social economy. What they sought out was tales of woe, images of suffering, sounds of desperation; the raw materials that would allow them to piece together some short piece that would, I suspect, play the role of balancing out the harshness of the facts and figures in some preceding report by one of the other crews.

This compartmentalisation of the storyline of an economic meltdown into three distinct types of report causes two failures: First, it weakens the journalist’s own analytical capacity to make sense of the crisis. Secondly, it diminishes the value of each of its parts. Let me explain both allegations in the context of the eurozone debacle. Any tale of the trials and tribulations of, say, a Greek family that lacks an analytical connection between their suffering and the anguish of an equivalent German family (whose living standards have been falling less but for much longer) will surely fail to account (as well as it might have) for both: (a) the depth of ill feeling that Greek and German families experience and (b) the crisis’ causes. Put simply, when the hardnosed analysis is kept separate from the human interest angle, then the analysis turns ‘soft-nosed’ and the human interest story swaps humanism for melodrama.


Language and its love affair with metaphor often lures us into the trap of generalising that which is best left un-generalised. Our tongue is prone to talking about a ‘foreign’ people as if capable of having a single character whose moral defects can explain their plight; as if, for instance, Margaret Thatcher and Harold Pinter were collapsible into one character whose failing might explain Britain’s economic woes. Then, as if that were not enough, our mind gives the resulting misunderstanding another twirl by moving in the opposite direction, confusing the particular with the general, e.g. assuming that what is prudent for one family must be prudent for an economy. Lastly, following a long standing error in the Western mindset, we are convinced that economic and financial ‘facts’ are sentiment-free zones.

These three failures come natural to us when we fly into a country that has suddenly melted down for the purposes of preparing, within tight constraints, a piece of journalism on what is happening, why it happened and how it feels to be caught up in it. They must be resisted. My argument has been that journalists will throw much more useful light on an economic crisis unfolding in a foreign land if they manage to avoid the error of generalisation, the fallacy of aggregation, and the perils of compartmentalisation.

(*) An edited version of this article will appear in the March (2012) issue of the  British Journalism Review. My thanks to the BJR for commissioning the paper.


  • Yani:

    Of course what you say is true. However, one can not be touchy feely about this. Nor can one expect journalism to avoid sensationalism in favor of educating the public with concepts and constructs than can put the average person to sleep.

    The only way to solve this crisis is to go directly for the beast’s head and cut it off. Unfortunately such task entails breaking a few eggs and/or becoming thoroughly unpleasant at times.

    Pursuing the truth is be definition an unpleasant task especially when mass psychology has been engineered against it.

    • Καλά, σχεδόν, τα λες, Yani; για να μη “put the average person to sleep”, ο Έξοχος Γιάννης, θα έπρεπε επιπρόσθετα να συμβουλέψει τους journalists να κάθονται μια ώρα παραπάνω στην Ελλάδα, να βιώσουνε και τα aftermath του μύθου, να δουν τα Ants (χωρίς τις παλαβιάρες κόνξες τους), να δι-στομώνουν τον αμπάκουλα, ρουφώντας ακόμα και την τελευταία ικμάδα των ασώτων και μετά να σέρνουν ακόμα και τα κουφάρια των Grasshoppers στις γαλαρίες τους ή να πετάνε τα κορμιά τους απ’ το καράβι, πριν βουλιάξει, για αβαρία *
      Έτσι, οι αναλύσεις τους καρυκευμένες με κανιβαλισμό και αίμα θα έκαναν τους αναγνώστες και το ακροατήριό τους να εξιτάρεται και να ρεύεται τουλάχιστον, όπως συνιστάς, πριν κοιμηθεί τελείως ενημερωμένο (αλλά κι ο Αίσωπος Γερμανόφιλος κι αυτός ο μπαγάσας, τον άφησε το μύθο “ανολοκλήρωτο” επειδή μίλαγε σε αρχαίο prime time).
      Jettison: a voluntary sacrifice of cargo to lighten Europe’s load in time of distress. Παράφραση του Horse Latitudes – Jim Morrison

    • Elijah Katsis:

      I read all the Greek newspapers every day. The amount of darkness and misdirection is phenomenal.

      Journalists keep circling around issues but seldom nail them.

      The Byzantine Greek politics never allow for clarity or a concentrated effort towards favorable outcomes.

      This is why Merkel’s state of terror is designed to prey on Greek victims. It’s the equivalent of all of us Greeks spreading our legs and asking for it.

      What can I tell you? Why the great majority in Greece stands so uneducated on the true issues is truly beyond my comprehension.

  • Μπραβο Κ.Βαρουφακη.

    Μ᾽αυτο τον τροπο λειτουργουν τα ΜΜΕ ,βλεπουν το δεντρο και οχι το δασος.

    Αντωνιος Σαραιλης

    Κεμβεκ Καναδας

  • Dear Yanis,
    Reflecting upon your brilliant article (or should I be saying mini-thesis?), I would like to focus on two points.
    Firstly, I wouldn’t be quite so sure that the armoured brigades will eventually remain in their barracks-lest we forget how WWII began!
    Secondly, as far as Pinter goes, it seems ironical how pertinent one of his best plays’ title remains: DIVIDED WE STAND!

  • Dear Yianni,
    Excellent, as usual, posting of the dangers of generalization from metaphors. The predictive (or extrapolation) qualities of the metaphor are indeed only the ones that are incorporated in it by its creator. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help noticing in your comparison of a state and family economics that a more sensible direction follows if the state is considered as a family operating in a local (global) economy, dealing with other families. In this metaphor, the family needs to reduce its external purchases (from other families) and maintain its sales to the other families, while the internal transactions are largely irrelevant. The difference here is that this second visualization the model does obey some general preservation principles. My experience is that only true experts can make simple analogies with deeper implications; the press, as the ultimate non-expert, is usually not among them.

    • The state-family metaphor can lead to different results because its a matter of perception.One should define families first.
      If families are defined by currency then EZ is one family,USA another one,China another one etc.In such case the EZ family is running a balanced trade and indeed the problem arises in internal transactions which is possible to be solved only in a European level.

      If families are defined by country,where each country is also a family then indeed,every family should try to balance their trade or even try to “sell more than it buys”.

      But there are a few facts that make the 2nd perception a little flawed.

      1)By definition we cant all be net exporters unless we sell to extraterrestrials.This means that you either find a way to keep the trade running,or lay back and watch trade decline to the point everything is destroyed.Because in a closed system (such as the global economy) consisting of you and me,if you always have a trade surplus vis a vis me ,unless you invest these surpluses back (thats the main point of a surplus recycling mechanism) there will come a point where i wont have the resources to buy your surplus thus my consumption will decline and so will your production.Theres a reason the phrase “money makes the world go around” exists.

      2)If as an orthological (?) family i try to increase my production or decrease my consumption or both, it is needed that you equally increase your consumption or decrease your production or both.It ALWAYS takes 2 to tango.

      3)In a fiat currency world,the currency issuer (which most often is the government (cb) ) has the (self) granted right/ability of unlimited currency issuance,constrained by inflation ONLY.This is called Monetary Sovereignty.Thus the issuer can never run out of domestic currency.By definition this means that government finances are nowhere near similar to household finances.Households cant issue currency.In extense the issuer doesnt need revenue.

      If one understands fact (3),it is obvious that what the EZ has done is that it simply put governments in the same level with private households and businesses where they have to compete for revenue.
      The problem is that government surplus equals to private sector deficit UNLESS the government surplus is equaled to the current account surplus (mostly trade surplus).So in order for a government to run a surplus without hurting the private sector,a trade surplus is obviously needed.

      So can all EZ governments act like households and run a budget surplus without hurting their economies?
      Facts (1) and (2) say no im afraid.

  • Yianni,

    In talking about these errors one can assume only two positions. They are unknowingly committed or in full knowledge of the perpetrators. I submit to you that the position is overwhelmingly of the latter part. Here in the US I find many a person that do not have the time or will to do the “hard work” needed navigating through facts and rely on one-liners by the media. I am sure that to a similar extent audiences elsewhere do the same. This leaves all in the very, very bad predicament of dealing with bad information and hence the decisions made on it are also bad, and second, with weak minds that grow only weaker as they are used less and less. As somebody said the main difference between stupidity and intelligence, is that the second one has limits!

    Ygeia, kali xronia kai poly ypomoni sthn Ellada.

    Nikolaos A.

  • Hi,

    Although my primary interests are in philosophy and education, for close to twenty years, I’ve been drawn to the ‘Austrian’ libertarian school of economics and the Zero Hedge crowd. Yeah, I read Ayn Rand at seventeen and then went on to Mises and Hayek.
    However, simultaneously, because of Ayn Rand I got interested in studying Greek philosophy. So, as I got older, without an orientation leader, I studied as much philosophy and economics as I could. I got used to the ‘Bullish’ view and the ‘Bearish’ view of the world and the predictable narratives, workshops, conferences and industries provided by both camps. Same applies to the Universities that can sometimes become Ivory Tower Monasteries: preaching their own greatest hits of dogma year after year. The ‘left’ and ‘right’ are both guilty of this and I hope that kind of empty discourse can remain in the twentieth century. In terms of Greece and the Greek Diaspora, it must.

    So as I read your works Yanis, I’m amazed on how well you teach as you write, as opposed to the usual online showboating, and still make it easy to digest. This post has so many applications. Avoiding the error of generalisation, the fallacy of aggregation, and the perils of compartmentalization applies to us all especially when we look at the origins of the opinions we hold. Thank you for sharing your insights. Your blog is essential soul food for me.

    John Karrys

  • In 1992 Wynne Godley described the inherent flaw in the Euro:

    “If a government does not have its own central bank on which it can draw cheques freely, its expenditures can be financed only by borrowing in the open market in competition with businesses, and this may prove excessively expensive or even impossible, particularly under conditions of extreme emergency….The danger then, is that the budgetary restraint to which governments are individually committed will impart a disinflationary bias that locks Europe as a whole into a depression it is powerless to lift.”

    In his must read book “Understanding Modern Money” Randall Wray described (in 1998) the same dynamic that led to the crisis in the EMU:

    “Under the EMU, monetary policy is supposed to be divorced from fiscal policy, with a great degree of monetary policy independencein order to focus on the primary objective of price stability. Fiscal policy, in turn will be tightly constrained by criteria which dictate maximum deficit to GDP and debt to deficit ratios. Most importantly, as Goodhart recognizes, this will be the world’s first modern experiment on a wide scale that would attempt to break the link between a government and its currency.

    …As currently designed, the EMU will have a central bank (the ECB) but it will not have any fiscal branch. This would be much like a US which operated with a Fed, but with only individual state treasuries. It will be as if each EMU member country were to attempt to operate fiscal policy in a foreign currency; deficit spending will require borrowing in that foreign currency according to the dictates of private markets.”

    In 2002, Stephanie Kelton (then Stephanie Bell) was even more specific in describing the funding crisis that would inevitably ensue in the region:

    “Countries that wish to compete for benchmark status, or to improve the terms on which they borrow, will have an incentive to reduce fiscal deficits or strive for budget surpluses. In countries where this becomes the overriding policy objective, we should not be surprised to find relatively little attention paid to the stabilization of output and employment.In contrast, countries that attempt to eschew the principles of “sound” finance may find that they are unable to run large, counter-cyclical deficits, as lenders refuse to provide sufficient credit on desirable terms. Until something is done to enable member states to avert these financial constraints (e.g. political union and the establishment of a federal (EU) budget or the establishment of a new lending institution, designed to aid member states in pursuing a broad set of policy objectives), the prospects for stabilization in the Eurozone appear grim.” (emphasis added)

    In 2001 Warren Mosler described the liquidity crisis that the Euro would lead to:

    “Water freezes at 0 degrees C. But very still water can be cooled well below that and stay liquid until a catalyst, such as a sudden breeze, causes it to instantly solidify. Likewise, the conditions for a national liquidity crisis that will shut down the euro-12’s monetary system are firmly in place. All that is required is an economic slowdown that threatens either tax revenues or the capital of the banking system.

    A prosperous financial future belongs to those who respect the dynamics and are prepared for the day of reckoning. History and logic dictate that the credit sensitive euro-12 national governments and banking system will be tested. The market’s arrows will inflict an initially narrow liquidity crisis, which will immediately infect and rapidly arrest the entire euro payments system. Only the inevitable, currently prohibited, direct intervention of the ECB will be capable of performing the resurrection, and from the ashes of that fallen flaming star an immortal sovereign currency will no doubt emerge.”

  • Yanis- interesting as usual, however at a certain level “stereotypes” do have verisimilitude and even veracity, at least on an operational level. Surely you do not deny that e.g., tax compliance is sufficiently different in Greece and say Germany to resemble a fundamental difference, i.e. in Greece paying taxes fully represents a Greek who is one and quite probably two standard deviations removed from the mean, whereas in Germany that conclusion is flipped.

    On a related level, one could argue that taxes don’t necessarily have to be raised in Greece, only collected, and that, as we both know, will take 1-2 generations to change…the EU and esp. non deficit nations cant wait 50 years….Default will likely accelerate the change toward tax compliance and civil adherence to laws.

    Culture is destiny, and Greek culture is decidely different from German culture. Do you really see any hope in reconciling this phenomenon ? Its not all simply about exporting versus importing nations and recycling profits and surpluses- what about absurd personel policies in government and the private sector, overly generous pensions, and as mentioend tax compliance ? These disparities dotn exist to anywhere near this level even in a federalist nation like the USA, they remain profound within the EU. This will require supranational imposition of norms/standards if the Eurozone is to endure.

    • Good point(s). Of course there are vast cultural differences that pose questions about the viability of a European economic union. Having said that, this is not the issue at hand. The question now is: Given that we have (perhaps foolishly) bound together 17 disparate European economies by means of a common currency, and that this new macro-economy is in a multi-layered crisis, how do we get out of it? Do we do it by squeezing the living daylights out of the deficit regions? Do we, in the process, support suffocating austerity in places like Greece by means of moral condemnation of the behavioural patterns that are most common in Greece? I think not. This path will lead to further economic collapse in the periphery, greater recessionary forces in the core, a moral outrage-backlash amongst most Greeks (who have legitimate criticisms to wage at certain Germanic behaviours which reflect the ‘other’ side of the problematic euro coin) and, lastly, a lowering of any prospects for bringning our disparate social economies closer together.

    • @Deuce: “On a related level, one could argue that taxes don’t necessarily have to be raised in Greece, only collected,”

      This is exactly right. If you want a measure you need to look at tax collections/GDP (yes, I know it would need to be corrected for the black market..)

      GR = 29%
      Ireland = 28%
      Switzerland = 31%
      Germany = 37%
      Austria = 43%
      Finland = 43%

      Conclusion: Ireland has a low tax rate but the collection ratio is very high. Greece has high tax rates, but the collection ratio is very low.

      What this does for foreign investment is clear. Foreign investment does not bet on getting around collection. They go to Ireland directly.

  • All well and good, and points to be remembered, but what seems to be missing is the relation between the taught greed for energy-sucking comfort and convenience, and the very real, but never noted, contrast between the “poor” Greeks and Germans, and their fellow humans who live on a dollar a day that might be easily extracted from the first world family’s “standard of living.”

    Until this is remembered by journalists and economics professors, the externalities of rapacious wealth transfer, BOTH from the poor to the rich, and from the third world to the “suffering” first world, will remain.

    I await some indication you’re addressing this, for I’ve seen none.

  • Very well done, important obsevation and analysis of news reporting. If I may add, you are also making an important contribution to the subject of a book by Noam Chomsky, ” Necessary Illusions: Thought Control in Democratic Societies “.

  • Do we do it [getting out of the crisis] by squeezing the living daylights out of the deficit regions? Do we, in the process, support suffocating austerity in places like Greece by means of moral condemnation of the behavioural patterns that are most common in Greece?

    Notwithstanding that “the armoured brigades have not moved,” you have just described — “squeezing the living daylights,” “suffocating austerity” — acts of war. Fianancial warfare is just as deadly, if not more.

  • I’m late to read this interesting note Yanis. I had read one of B Mitchell’s notes over a busy weekend and aspects of it line-up with exactly your – & I hope most people’s – worries maybe are about ripping a delicate historic cooperative apart:

  • Reblogged this on Place Management & Branding and commented:
    Although this piece by economist Yanis Varoufakis is not directly linked to place brandind, I find that it is an excellent account of how and why country stereotypes are produced, what the role of story-telling and of journalists is and what consequeces this may have.

  • Greek mentality:
    Every expression of the secular nationalism, common to all modern nations and whose roots are in the French Revolution of 1789 and in European Romanticism, is built upon a mythology partly “secular” and partly “religious”. This is how the Greek myth was built.
    On the secular level the myth is that of a unique relationship between Greeks and “Hellenism” which constitutes the common source and foundation of the entire Western civilization.
    On the religious level the myth is that of a unique relationship to Byzantium, which is the common foundation of all Orthodox churches.
    And it is this double mythology, or rather its impact on Greek thinking, that makes their lives so difficult.


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