If you want to understand why the standoff between Greece and European elites has become so intractable, you need to understand how the situation looks to ordinary people in the various European countries. And one of the best ways to do that is to watch this bizarre music video, based on the song Rock Me Amadeus, from Lucky TV in the Netherlands.
Oh, but don't watch it with the sound turned up if you're in the office. There's a lot of cursing.
"When the euro came they went out on a spending spree," the song says. "And still they're lending, and spending, and failing to reform. And everybody's screaming come on fuck you Papandreou."
That's George Papandreou, who was Greek prime minister in 2011 when this video was made.
The song continues: "European leaders made a plan to save his ass. But Papandreou didn't give a shit and then he said I'm gonna hold a referendum about this deal of yours. And then the leaders of the Eurozone said fuck you Papandreou."
Papandreou ultimately canceled the referendum, and Greece accepted another round of bailouts with austerity conditions attached in 2012.
Four years later, Papandreou has been replaced by the more leftist Alexis Tsipras. And positions on both sides have only hardened. Many people in rich European nations still see Greece as a deadbeat nation that has refused to live within its means. They're offended that Greeks have demanded bailout after bailout without making the hard choices required to make Greece self-sufficient over the long run.
Of course, Greeks feel differently. Part of the reason Greece is in such a dire fiscal situation is that its economy is in a deep depression due to the austere policies of the German-dominated European Central Bank. Many Greek voters feel they've already suffered enough and that it's unreasonable for European elites to demand yet another round of austerity measures in the middle of a deep economic downturn.
The crisis has been so difficult to resolve because each side feels the other has acted in bad faith. Each side feels they've made repeated concessions, while the other side keeps demanding more. And so now both sides are angry and digging in their heels.