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 ?
"The Sick Man of Europe", a term first used by Russia to describe the Ottoman Empire, now surely refers to the UK.
There are signs, however, that the "Sick Man of Africa", as Uganda was dubbed after a 20-year reign of terror by Milton Obote and Idi Amin, is well on the way to recovery.
Gatchalian, chairman of the Senate economic affairs committee, asserted on Tuesday that the dubious distinction of the Philippines as the "sick man of Asia" would soon be a thing of the past.
The UK economy is the sick man of Europe in growth terms.
Scotland in 2017 is still the sick man of Europe and we have to change that."
WELSH Secretary Stephen Crabb has welcomed the latest jobs figures, saying Wales now has a "golden opportunity" to "shake off our historic reputation as the 'sick man of Britain'".
In the latter part of the 19th century which country was known as 'the sick man of Europe'?
Baroness Thatcher's role in turning Great Britain from being the "sick man of Europe" into a country admired throughout the world.
It's just one of many reasons why this country has become known as The Sick Man of Europe.
WORKPLACE attitudes to health are reviving Britain's old reputation as the "sick man of Europe", a survey suggests.
LONDON, Feb 8, 2010 (TUR) -- Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU Talks Egemen Bagis said on Monday that "Turkey was no longer the sick man of Europe".
The struggling construction sector was yesterday labelled the "sick man of the UK economy" despite its pace of decline easing in August.
Mr Osborne insisted Labour's "reckless spending "was turning Britain into the "sick man of Europe".
That ''sick man of Europe'' is often associated with high unemployment, lack of competitiveness and a bloated public sector.
Scotland has long been dubbed the sick man of Europe - but the Health Secretary's patch is one of the sickest in the land.