European Disintegration: Anti-Greek Bias in the Eurozone Crisis
Between December 2009 and February 2012, Greece announced its immense sovereign debt crisis, received two EU/IMF bailout packages, and implemented a series of draconian austerity measures. The streets of Athens erupted in anti-austerity protests as Greeks directed their rage against the troika and the wealthier EU states, which were leading the bailout process; Greeks simultaneously faced resentment and negativity from the creditor states as the Eurozone crisis brought to the forefront the underlying tensions in the EU. This paper investigates and quantifies the backlash in Britain and Germany against Greece through a media content analysis to determine the extent of the bias. Three critical moments in the progression of the Greek crisis are examined from the perspective of British and German popular and elite news sources The Sun, The Financial Times, Bild, and Die Zeit, and their coverage is analyzed according to five core indicators of anti-Greek bias. The media analysis of the crisis combined with public opinion data illuminates deep cleavages in the EU between the British and German national publics and between elites and masses, raising concerns for the future of European integration.