Update: I got so carried away writing the text below that I forgot to mention this map is part of my Mapping Stereotypes project. Wrap it in its context, please. :)
It was about time to make a map of Europe according to Greece because as things are going, the country might disappear very soon. At least as we know it.
I think what is happening today in Greece and all Southern Mediterranean Europe can be properly described as a clash of civilizations. You’ve probably heard the statement that Greece is the cradle of Western Civilization. That’s bollocks. What we refer to Western Civilization today can be much better described as a Protestant Entrepreneur Civilization, and it definitely lies to the North, rather than the West.
Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece have a very different tradition, one that unites them in a league of their own. The similarities are so strong they even transcend the usual Catholic vs Orthodox divide. Down here, on the shores of the Mediterranean, people don’t spend their time trying to invent ways to keep themselves busy working, so they can save enough money for a monthly vacation and escape a nasty depressing weather. Here the Sun shines quite often and people are more interested in having fun. One might argue whether too much heaven is healthy for you but the fact is undeniable.
It’s really striking how something as basic as sunlight can affect society on such a fundamental level. It’s also striking how misunderstood this correlation is. The Germans and French blame the Greeks they are lazy. That’s very true but I think if you magically could relocate the entire German nation on the Aegean islands and leave them to boil on the white rocks for about 50 years, you will end up with a society pretty similar to the one that inhabits the area today.
Of course the misunderstanding runs both ways, Greeks are equally unable to understand the Northern motivation and way of life, hence they thought faking accounting reports for the honor to join the Euro will go unpunished forever.
Europe is a really inspiring continent, isn’t it? Now let’s see how global warming will stir things up in the next 100 years. I promise you won’t ever get bored. :)