German tabloid newspapers have, describing the present debt negotiations between Greece and the European Union, as “Greedy Greeks”. It is a singularly inappropriate epithet for a nation in distress seeking to alleviate its distress, rather than to surfeit on that it does not own. Frequently tabloid newspapers can hit the metaphorical nail squarely on the head, but in this case they simply use convenient alliteration to whip up undeserved contempt for a nation with which theoretically they are in partnership but in truth presently treat as a vassal state.
Germany should remember the economic position from which its people suffered in say 1946. Its economy was in ruins and its assets spent. The assets which it stole from other nations were also spent. Learning the lessons of the First World War, the victors of the Second World War did not force Germany to pay its debts or even make modest reparations for the massive damage its war on conquest inflicted upon every single nation that fought against it, including Greece. Germany, starving and unable to provide much fuel or fuel for its people, was not held up as “greedy” although it was not, at that stage, well loved.
Today it is clear that Germany is the boss of the European Union. One nation has to be a boss in a Union, by which I mean the most powerful; it is not a case of first among equals but most powerful nation that pays the piper and therefore always calls the tune even though many of the melodies it selects are not to the taste of its partners..