the greek drama

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 25 February, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 25 February, 2010, 12:00am


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Reading comprehension

Answer the following questions:

1 What is a budget deficit?

a. When a country spends more than it earns.

b. When banks lend too much money.

c. When people borrow too much money.

d. When people make a lot of money.

2 Why is Greece's debt a problem for other EU countries?

a. No one will want to lend them any money.

b. They don't want civil unrest in Greece.

c. Greece is a major holiday destination for Europeans.

d. They all have one currency, and if that is devalued for Greece, it is devalued for them.

3 Which are the PIGS countries?

a. Persia, Italy, Greece and Serbia

b. Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain

c. Peru, India, Greece and China

d. Portugal, India, Greece and Spain

4 Roughly how many Greeks work for the government?

a. none

b. a third

c. half

d. 10 per cent

5 What would happen, according to the article. if people thought the US could not repay its debt?

a. No one would go to the US for holidays.

b. Hong Kong will score financially.

c. The entire world's financial system would fall apart.

d. US goods will be more expensive in Europe.

Think about

1 If you worked for the government, how would you feel if you discovered your pension was only worth half of what you thought it would be and that you had to take a pay cut?

2 What would you do if you were Greece's government?

3 What would you do if you were Germany's government?

4 Anne Applebaum says: 'I have seen America's future, and it is Greece.' What do you think she means? Is she right?

Follow up

1 Come up with a metaphor to explain how Greece's debt crisis is affecting the European Union.

2 This crisis is being called 'the Greek drama'. Find out why and explain it to your class in a two-minute presentation.

3 Search online and draw up a timeline of events leading to this crisis.

4 Debate: Countries should never be allowed to make currency swaps.

5 Imagine you are in the government of a nation which was going to join the EU. Research a list of pros and cons of membership.