I still don't understand if the Greeks can truly blame government for their plight, or if they must blame themselves for repeatedly electing governments that allowed them to live beyond their means.
Well, look at it this way: the average Greek (like the average you name it), doesn't really know anything about macroeconomics. He is relatively poor (no European country is really poor in a third world sense) and has never had much chance of really improving his lot except by migration. Suddenly, his country enters a system where money flows like it never has. Maybe at first he thinks there is something fishy, and maybe he looks to see what people who should know better have to say about it all. They all happily goad them on. It's not just his own bankers and politicians, but Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Rome, wherever you turn, its all green lights. The rating agencies actually go out of their way praising the Greek politicians who were doctoring the balance sheets. So the average Greek small shop owner or Athens bus driver or nurse, just gets on with his/her life.
Then everything comes crashing down around him and suddenly everyone is telling him he is to blame. The very same rating agencies that were goading him on, now turn around at tell him that all his life's efforts aren't worth shit.
So yes, of course the Greeks are to blame, for choosing lousy leaders (er.. well, like if the rest of us, at both sides of the Atlantic, always chose virtuose ones...) and for not always paying their taxes and waving a lot of rules.
The question is whether we can fairly lay the blame only
-or even mostly
- on them. The average guy on the streets of Athens must be thinking that someone is using him as a boggey man for covering their own guilt. And he does have a point.