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Protesters raise a Greek flag in front of parliament during a rally in Athens last summer against austerity measures, a scene that's been repeated many times since. (© John Kolesidis / Reuters/REUTERS)
Protesters raise a Greek flag in front of parliament during a rally in Athens last summer against austerity measures, a scene that's been repeated many times since. (© John Kolesidis / Reuters/REUTERS)

Debt standoff

Feeling Greece fatigue Add to ...

Greek debt deal edges closer as talks restart. 03 Feb. 2012. –The Telegraph

While men and women in Greece are tired of struggling with a collapsing economy, the rest of the world is also feeling a kind of Greece fatigue.

More than two years since major news organizations put Greece’s debt crisis on the front page, headlines about the country look more and more familiar. Unless you’ve got stakes in the game – your family, your friends, your money – it’s hard to avoid yawning.

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Not because the stakes are small. They’re actually rather big. The government’s inability to pay its bills is undermining the livelihoods of Greece’s 11 million inhabitants. Violent protests have erupted as business slows, wages and pensions are slashed and unemployment soars. Financial markets worldwide plunged last year amid worries that a Greek debt default would trigger massive losses at some major banks and knock down the global financial system.

But how many times can we read headlines saying “Stocks fall on concern over Greek debt” or “European leaders pledge action on Greece” before we start to believe we’re being unfairly punished by a Groundhog Day Demon, or the target of déjà voodoo?

Greece has made headlines more times in the past two years than in the previous decade. Reports on how Greece’s debt burden was weighing on financial markets picked up in December 2009. They jumped as the country negotiated a €110-billion rescue in May 2010, quieted down for a while, then soared again last summer as a debt default seemed imminent.

Greece lubricated the flow of news, and now we’re drowning in it.

34,500

Number of times the word “Greece” or “Greek” appears in headlines of major global news publications from Dec. 1, 2009, to Monday. (Source: Bloomberg, Factiva, Financial Times)

26,433

Number of times the word “Greece” or “Greek” appeared in headlines of major global news publications over the decade from Jan. 1, 2000, to Nov. 30, 2009. (Source: Bloomberg, Factiva, Financial Times)

20+

Number of high-level European meetings since 2010, including 17 summits of heads of state, plus meetings of the Group of Eight and Group of 20. Doesn’t include 139 meetings of the European Economic and Financial Affairs Council.

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