News, Politics

Europeans Say No To Spending Cuts

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France and Greece both recently held important elections. Image: El Spartan/El Greco
France and Greece both recently held important elections. Image: El Spartan/El Greco

Two countries in Europe had important elections last weekend – France and Greece. Both elections went against the conservative parties in power.

Experts are saying this could be a sign that more countries in Europe will protest against spending cuts by voting out current governments.

In France a new party and a new president were elected.

Francois Hollande is the head of the Socialist Party, and he was elected president, over incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. (Incumbent means “currently in power.”)

The Socialists, or “leftist” party has not been in power for more than 20 years. Hollande said he believes the way to succeed is to create jobs and trade with other countries.

Greece did not get a new government, but the people did take votes away from the conservative parties.

Last year those parties agreed to borrow money to pay Greece’s debts. But in exchange, they promised to start up an austerity program—a very harsh, cost-cutting plan that slashes the country’s spending. (Usually what gets cut are health and welfare benefits and government jobs.)

People in Greece have been protesting in the streets against the cuts.

In a northern state of Germany, the conservative party was also recently kicked out because its plan for cutting expenses was rejected by the people.

In the last year, at least eight of 17 Euro-zone leaders have been forced out of office because the people were unhappy with their proposed austerity plans.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Many countries in the European Union are scrambling to find ways out of their economic problems. Is this simply their problem or could European problems affect you?

Reading Prompt: Making Inferences/Interpreting Texts
Today’s article states,

Experts are saying (the recent election results in Greece and France) could be a sign that more countries in Europe will protest against spending cuts by voting out current governments.”

Given the difficulties in Europe, why might experts make this prediction?

Intermediate
Develop and explain interpretations of increasingly complex or difficult texts
using stated and implied ideas from the texts to support their  interpretations (OME, Reading: 1.5).

Grammar Feature: Parenthesis (Full Sentence)
Today’s article contains two sentences that are written entirely in parentheses. (That’s not very common.) When an entire sentence is inside parentheses, the period is placed inside the right parenthesis. (It looks like this.) When only a part of the sentence is in parentheses, the period is placed outside the right parenthesis (like this).

In the following paragraph insert 4 sets of parentheses. Use 2 around entire sentences and 2 as part of a sentence.

Deepak and Kyle have the funniest habit. Everyone knows about it. They both like to scratch their backs with rulers. I’ve even seen them do it with metre sticks. They usually take the rulers from the bin the black ones. And once they start scratching they just can’t stop that is until the figure out that everyone is watching them.