Europe’s Truths – NYTimes.com
ELOUNDA, Greece — “The unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates. Pronounced of a Cretan summer evening in an outdoor theater, with a breeze wafting through the olive groves, the thought is doubly arresting — perhaps because it is evident in such a setting that we make poor choices in our lives by not exposing ourselves more to such beauty.
Another thing is apparent: South European nations, the “peripheral” ones in current parlance, have a hardship-softener too little factored into assessments of E.U. crisis — the sun — even if Germany has the money. That is one reason, along with the strength of family ties and the underground economy, why we have not seen a European eruption along the Mediterranean, as unemployment has soared.