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  • CÓILÍN Ó BRAONÁIN

Greeks vs. Germans: Politics or Psychology?

While the Euro and Grexit have been headline news for some time, a few comments have suggested that the Greeks have been behaving in a childlike way, for example, Leo Varadkar compared the Greek government to a students’ union.

There may be something to that view, because Sigmund Freud said that all boys must go through the Oedipal phase, which involves rebelling against the father, and attempting to dominate. From Freud’s point of view, it is important that the child fail in this rebellious attempt and instead identify with his father. In that way, society hands on the role of parent from one generation to another. We know that sometimes when a boy’s father is absent from the home, he can go off the tracks for the want of a male authority figure in the house.


The Greeks’ attempt to take on the Germans and their resulting defeat by Angela Merkel seems to mirror that process very closely. It there is any truth to this interpretation of events, we should find that the Greeks will ultimately become model EU citizens. Watch this space!

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