It was the year Cadbury’s caused outrage among chocolate lovers by changing the recipe for its beloved Creme Egg, and fizzy drinks giant Coca-Cola was tricked into tweeting out large chunks of Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
But 2015 was mainly about Greece: Greece’s debt crisis, Greece’s referendum, Greece’s bailout, Greece’s election, Greece’s second election. At one point it really seemed that the battered country, which has been through so much, would finally crash out of the eurozone.
Of our 10 most popular stories during the year, seven were about Greece. Our coverage was dominated by our live business blog, in which Graeme Wearden tirelessly documented the extraordinary events as they happened. Five of the blogs had more than 1m page views; two had more than 2m.
Based on the number of page views, here’s the full list of the 10 most popular stories from Guardian business in 2015.
In a marathon Brussels summit lasting more than 16 hours – the longest in EU history – an agreement was finally reached that would lead to a third bailout for Greece and keep the country in the eurozone.
It was also a marathon Guardian live blog, running for more than 26 hours, as we detailed the nail biting progress of the talks and prime minister Alexis Tsipras’s eventual agreement to a further swathe of austerity measures and economic reforms. (12-13 July)
In a move that stunned the eurozone, Greek voters delivered a resounding No to the nation’s creditors, overwhelmingly rejecting the troika’s proposals in an historic referendum.
It was a sensational result, with the No campaign securing 61.31% of the vote. In a television address, Tsipras said the outcome showed that democracy could not be blackmailed.
Just a week later, however, he would be forced to accept bailout terms even more onerous that those the nation had so dramatically rejected. (6 July)
Coca-Cola was forced to withdraw a Twitter advertising campaign after a counter-campaign by Gawker tricked it into tweeting large chunks of the introduction to Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
Coke tweeted the words “My father was a civil servant who fulfilled his duty very conscientiously” in the shape of a pirate ship with a face on its sails – wearing an eyepatch – before the account was suspended. (5 February)
So much for the August lull. Growing fears over the Chinese economy culminated in a dire day for global markets on 29 August, dubbed “China’s Black Monday”.
Hundreds of billions were wiped off markets around the world as shares plunged in one of the worst day’s trading in many years.
Greece failed to make a €1.5bn payment to the International Monetary Fund, leaving it alone, insolvent and almost bankrupt after five years of €240bn (£170bn) in European bailouts dried up. It was the first advanced economy ever to fall in arrears to the IMF.
The long-running debt debacle left Greece without a financial lifeline after years of wrenching austerity, and represented a historic blow to a Europe committed to the irreversibility of its 16-year-old single currency. (1 July)
Monday 12 January was a bad day for chocolate lovers, as it was revealed that the shell of Cadbury Creme Eggs would no longer be made from Cadbury’s Dairy Milk chocolate but from “standard cocoa mix chocolate”.
Defending the move, a spokesman said: “The Creme Egg had never been called Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Creme Egg. We have never played on the fact that Dairy Milk was used.” (12 January)
Amid shockwaves from the closure of Greek banks and the imposition of capital controls, stock markets tumbled around the world.
On the eve of the expiry of Greece’s second bailout, Tsipras used a TV address to ask the shell-shocked Greek public to back his resistance to a new round of tough tax increases and spending cuts demanded by the troika.
Europe’s big guns lined up one after another to tell the Greeks unequivocally that voting No in Sunday’s referendum would mean saying goodbye to the euro. (30 June)
Another dramatic Sunday, in which Tsipras announced the imposition of capital controls, meaning banks would not reopen after the weekend. Greeks were limited to taking out just €60 a day at cash machines.
The move came after the European central bank froze the emergency support offered to the Greek banking sector – two days after the Greek prime minister shocked Europe by calling a referendum. (29 June)
Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz captured the imagination with his column on how he would vote in the Greek referendum.
Neither alternative – approval or rejection of the troika’s terms – would be easy, he said, and both carried huge risks.
“But a yes vote would mean depression almost without end … By contrast, a no vote would at least open the possibility that Greece, with its strong democratic tradition, might grasp its destiny in its own hands.” (29 June)
The Greek parliament took a crucial step towards a third bailout by approving the economic measures required by its lenders, even though the prime minister himself admitted many of the “harsh” measures would hurt the Greek economy. (16 July)
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