It’s the narrative, stupid

Yanis Varoufakis, griechischer Finanzminister:

[Aesop] came up with the parable of the ant and the grasshopper, where the ant works hard, never enjoyed life, kept putting money – or value – aside, and the grasshopper simply lazed in the sun, sang and did nothing and then the winter came and retribution followed. This is a good parable: Unfortunately, in Europe there is this very strange notion, that all the grasshoppers live in the South and all the ants live in the North, when in reality you have ants and grasshoppers everywhere. What has happened before the crisis – that is my re-telling of the Isop tale – is that the grasshoppers of the North and the grasshoppers of the South combined to create a bubble, a financial bubble, bankers from the North and bankers from the South, for instance – which enriched them greatly, and allowed to sing and laze in the sun, while the ants of the North and the ants of the South worked, under increasingly difficult conditions, even during the good times, making ends meet in 2003, in 2004, was not easy for the ants of the North or of the South, and then when the bubble that the grasshoppers of the North and the grasshoppers of the South created, burst, the grasshoppers of the North and the South got together and decided that it is the fault of the ants of the North and the ants of the South. The best way of doing that was to turn the ants of the North against the ants of the South, telling them that the South was inhabited only with grasshoppers. Thus, the European Union started to fragment and the average German hates the average Greek, the average Greek hates the average German. Very soon, the average German will hate the average German and the average Greek the average Greek.

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