The roots of the Greek crisis are to be found in the metapolitefsi, the period following the end of the military dictatorship, in 1974. Unlike Germany, where the transition to democracy was imposed by occupying Western powers, the countries of Europe’s southern periphery exited dictatorship in a more piecemeal fashion. In Spain, Portugal, and Greece, authoritarian rule was followed by restoration of democratic institutions that left much of the clientelistic structures and practices of the previous regimes in place.
This is a perspective that I am glad to have encountered; a cultural divide between productive and less productive EU members doesn't seem an adequate explanation. If a capitalist democracy is healthiest when it starts with the shattering of institutions, then it's interesting to look at the revolutions of the Middle East in this context.
IMO there's a common understanding that once seeded, capitalist democracy continually expands, eventually benefiting the entire populace. If the quoted hypothesis is true, then the result of introducing capitalist democracy could depend heavily upon the initial conditions. However, I'm not sure to what extent I am not talking about democracy, so much as the conditions for the introduction of capitalism.
It's also interesting to look at China in this light.