the sick man of (something or somewhere)

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the sick man of (something or somewhere)

Something or some place that is particularly unsound, untenable, or doomed to fail, especially among or in comparison to its peers. Due in large part to several tumultuous years of indecision in its parliament, Greece has been the sick man of Europe since the global recession began. The banking giant, which once propped up the entire country, has now become the sick man of the economy in recent years.
See also: man, of, sick

the sick man of —

a country that is politically or economically unsound, especially in comparison with its neighbours in the region specified.
In the late 19th century, following a reported comment by Tsar Nicholas I of Russia about the moribund state of the Turkish empire, the Sultan of Turkey was described as the Sick Man of Europe . The term was later extended to Turkey itself and subsequently applied to other countries.
1992 Independent He vilified the West as ‘the sick man of the modern world’ and attacked its institutions as ‘the dictatorship of the majority dressed up as democracy’.
See also: man, of, sick
References in periodicals archive ?
Judged by their obsessions the Tories are politically bankrupt when another PS40-50billion will be added to a national debt that is supposed to be dropping, and economically Britain is the sick man of Europe, with growth pathetically low.
Scotland in 2017 is still the sick man of Europe and we have to change that.
We used to be called the sick man of Europe back in the Seventies but now we probably hold the title of dirty man of Europe, I'm afraid to say.
Despite these so-called advantages, we were then the sick man of Europe - and a financial basket case sinking down the global economic league tables.
Stubb's frustration was evident when he said in September: "Basically, we are the sick man of Europe.
Speaking without notes, Mr Davies said: "By the time Margaret Thatcher left office, this country was not the sick man of Europe.
WELSH farming is in danger of becoming the sick man of Europe as it grapples with punitive reductions in CAP payments, angry union leaders have claimed.
We needed something to say we were not the sick man of Europe and that we were a force to be reckoned with.
Turkey was the sick man of Europe, but now it has become one of the fastest growing economies of the world," Peet said.
Greece, not its old rival Turkey, is now clearly the Sick Man of Europe and the alarming signs are that it is not going to be recovering any time soon.
To quote David Cameron: "Unless we deal with this debt crisis, we risk once again becoming the sick man of Europe.
Unless we deal with this debt crisis, we risk becoming the sick man of Europe again.
Does anyone remember the bad days of the 70s when Britain was known as the sick man of Europe, when the country was held to ransom by the unions, miners' strikes and electricity cuts?
Scotland has long been dubbed the sick man of Europe - but the Health Secretary's patch is one of the sickest in the land.