the sick man of

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 ?
Though a union member myself, f I was pleased Mrs T stood up to the extremists and put an end to Britain being known as the sick man of | Europe.
She will be remembered in Sutton Coldfield as a strong, tough reformer who ended Britain's position as the sick man of Europe.
The Institute for Public Policy Research, which released the figures, said: "The British economy is the sick man of the G7.
It's just one of many reasons why this country has become known as The Sick Man of Europe.
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".
Bear Nevertheless, Egyptians are described as the cultured founders of modern civilisation and we are labelled as the sick man of Europe.
Chief executive David Noble said: "Though August saw a reduction in the rate of deterioration, it is still the sick man of the UK economy.
Will be also deny Britain was labelled the sick man of Europe?
The fact of the matter is that the legacy of our past primary industries has left us the sick man of Britain, it was the English who benefited most from our hard toil and graft leaving them un-ravaged by such ailments as white finger, breathing problems and spinal problems.
Scotland has long been dubbed the sick man of Europe - but the Health Secretary's patch is one of the sickest in the land.
And he was expected to say: "The sad fact is, a generation ago Britain was the sick man of Europe.
PRESIDENT de Gaulle once described Britain as the sick man of Europe.
The Coalition pretence that the UK is the sick man of Europe and desperately in need of Cameron's unique medicine - tablets dissolving the NHS to be taken every day till it disappears - were discredited yesterday and his medical backing now appears tissue thin.
FOR too many years, Scotland has lived with the shameful burden of being tagged the sick man of Europe.
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?