Eurocrisis: Euro Zone Is At Risk of a “Psychological Break-up”

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti warned that the debt crisis is creating national resentments that could cause a “psychological break-up” in Europe that must be contained.

In an interview with Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine, Monti emphasized that such disagreements are endangering the policy response to the debt crisis and could threaten the future of the euro zone and its single currency, which came into being in 2002. While saying he supports the European Central Bank’s willingness to intervene in government bond markets and address the debt of euro zone governments, Monti said that the problems “have to be solved quickly now so that there’s no further uncertainty about the euro zone’s ability to overcome the crisis.”

“There is a front line in this area between north and south. There are reciprocal prejudices. It is very alarming and we must fight against it,” Monti emphasized.

Evidence of those prejudices has indeed surfaced. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been compared to Hitler and depicted as him in caricatures. An Italian newspaper, Il Giornale (which is owned by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi) is running a front-page article describing her domination of European politics as a “Fourth Reich.”

A study released in May by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that Germans and Greeks are “polar opposites.” Germany, whose economy is certainly the healthiest in the euro zone, is the “most admired,” its leader the “most respected” and its citizens thought to be the most hardest-working”; it is the country most in favor of European economic integration and of the European Union. Not surprisingly, a majority of Germans think that integration has been an economic plus. 53 percent believe their country to be on the right trajectory

In very stark contrast, no EU members see Greece “in a positive light.” Greeks are “among the “most disparaging” about European economic integration and the “harshest critics of the European Union.” In contrast to what other nations think, Greeks see themselves as the most hardworking in Europe. In addition, 70 percent of Greeks think that membership in the EU has weakened their country’s economy. A miniscule 2 percent believe that the country is on the right path.

Such diametrically opposing views suggest that the “psychological break-up” Monti refers to has been in place for a long time. Might it be more accurate to diagnose the euro zone with symptoms of bipolar disorder?

Previous Care2 Coverage

Eurocrisis: A Big Bazooka For Markets, Maybe

Eurocrisis: The Fed Says, “Wait and See”

Greece Rounds Up Immigrants in Athens, Will Deport 1,600

Photo by DM Expression


Loesje vB
Loesje Najoan5 years ago

Stella W. hope Greece to be solved quickly to getting out of the crisis.

Debbie L.
Debbie Lim5 years ago


Stella Ward
Stella Ward5 years ago

Your article proves what Greeks have been saying all along about the falsehoods spread about their nation as lazy and just sponging off of other nations (mainly Germany). I do not see anywhere in your article the very real actions of the German government and Troika against Greece of such overwhelming and severe austerities that there is a majority of Greeks out of work and losing their homes, the loss of adequate pensions for the people to afford basic needs, the loss of medical care, the loss of funding for proper education to the point of far too many children not getting the books needed, the teachers not getting adequate pay for their work which in turn is causing severe illiteracy, too many people working for extremely low or no pay in the hopes that in the long run things will improve and they will eventually get fairly compensated or in the very least they will be able to hang on to a job, the uncertainty of whether the working people will have a job the next day. And I know all this because I am one of the 1.5 million or more at this writing who is unemployed and looking for a job for a year now, with an elementary school age child who is relying on my mother's and grandmother's low pensions to make ends meet. Of course there is no faith in the German government and the Troika here, when their only focus is austerity and not on growth of industry to give a real help of getting out of this crisis.

paola ballanti
Paola Ballanti5 years ago

Io sono Italiana e vi assicuro che in Italia si sta male: Monti ed il suo governo ci stanno massacrando: 55% di pressione fiscale, niente lavoro né per i genitori né per i figli, servizi totalmente inefficienti, corruzione, troppi parlamentari e troppo ben pagati, il Vaticano che non paga l' ici per le sue proprietà in Italia. I terremotati dell' Emilia prendono € 3 (tre) al giorno, un clandestino ne prende 35 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arild Warud

It's time for Angela Merkel to step down.

Eternal Gardener
Eternal G5 years ago

...for there is no cultural or otherwise common denominator...

Eric Lees
Eric Lees5 years ago

At least the EU recognizes they have a problem. The US has a bigger problem but our government still refuses to even have a serious discussion about it. Why is Congress taking a break when we are in such a mess? Could the President have ordered them to stay and work on our problems. The EU mess is buying us time by distracting attention away from our problems but we do not seem to be taking advantage of this window.

change twentytwelve

And so like a row of Domino's once started the whole arrangement comes down, and if you think being in the U.S. somehow means we won't also be unraveling, think again.To those who really hold the reigns of power, you are seriously off, if you think somehow you will remain safely above and away when the collapse comes. Not if, WHEN.

Ronald E.
Ronald E5 years ago

Mike, you moron.

Toby Seiler
Past Member 5 years ago

Mike C, You recognise the monetary problem but your solution sucks. I have a small farm but don't want to shoot my neighbor when he is desperate enough to steal. Have you resigned yourself to anarchy? In a certain way, you are proof that America is on the same path to a divided country, in that your solution is protectionist to the extreme (get guns and amo). Do you really hate your fellow Americans who have lost jobs or income for whatever reason, so as to suggest guns are the alternative to a peacful solution?

For a very inteligent man, you really have no viable solution to the failing debt money system.