Who is to blame for the renewed Greek crisis within the eurozone? Of course the Greeks have a lot to answer for. It is a nation that has existed in its modern form only since the First World War, a country that was still under Ottoman rule less than 200 years ago. It had a lot of catching up to do when it re-entered what was a ‘modern’ Europe.
After the Second World War, its economy made such rapid progress that it was able to join the European Economic Community in 1981 and the euro in 2001. But it had failed to modernize many of its institutions. Its people have retained a dislike of authority, are resentful and distrustful of a bloated public sector and of a byzantine bureaucracy that was described by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development is one of the most dysfunctional in the developed world. Tax avoidance has been rife. Clientelism and corruption prevail, constraining competition and productivity.