Merkel the Marathoner
Angela Merkel has compared the euro crisis as a "marathon," according to a report by Nicholas Kulish and Alan Cowell: "No quick fix for crisis in euro zone, Merkel says" (International Herald Tribune, December 3-4, 2011):
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, a central player in efforts to rescue Europe's single currency, on Friday ruled out a rapid solution to the euro zone's debt crisis, comparing the process to a runners' marathon and saying it could take years . . . . "Resolving the sovereign debt crisis is a process and this process will take years," Mrs. Merkel said . . . . Marathon runners, she said, believe that their efforts become particularly difficult after the "35 kilometer mark . . . . But they also say that you can get to the finish if you are conscious of the magnitude of the task from the very start."I'm not going to hazard a suggestion on how the European Union should resolve its euro zone crisis, but I will say that a "marathon" is not the most useful analogy. Merkel takes the analogy rather literally, too. She speaks of its "magnitude" and apparantly means 42.195 kilometers, for she refers to the "35 kilometer mark." Merkel's view of this economic crisis is too static. She imagines a fixed timeline for the crisis, with a clear beginning and a clear end and precisely 42.195 kilometers from the former to the latter. But this crisis is not static; it is dynamic, and if the EU does not run more quickly, then the race could extend indefinitely . . . until the euro's collapse, of course.
We might also want to remember that Pheidippides, the first marathon runner, died upon finishing his run . . .