Over time, Greece has borrowed a lot of money–more than it can pay back. The European Union (EU) is a partnership of 27 countries including Greece. The EU countries have been working together to come up with a plan to help Greece repay the money it owes.
If Greece can’t figure out a solution for its problems, it may go bankrupt or be forced out of the European Union.
Most countries and the governments that run them borrow at least some money — they take on debt. That debt (money they’ve borrowed) helps them pay for things their people need, like hospitals and buses. Some of the debts are owed to other countries and their banks.
But some countries, like Greece, have trouble paying back the money they owe. Countries in the European Union have agreed to help by lending some “rescue” money to Greece.
Greece’s Prime Minister George Papandreou thinks the EU plan will be hard on the Greek people, partly because it means their government will no longer be able to decide how much money it can spend on things the country needs.
But the leaders of France and Germany want Greece to accept their rescue plan because if the Greek government can’t repay its debts to other countries, they will have trouble paying their debts too.
“We want to continue with the Greeks but there are rules and it’s unacceptable that these rules are not followed,” said Nicolas Sarkozy, the President of France.
Note: This is a breaking news story with many facets to it–there are new developments every day. Be sure to follow the story and get more information from your local newspaper and TV news broadcasts.
By Jonathan Tilly
Imagine you were a Greek citizen. Describe your feelings about this crisis. Who would you blame? What solutions would you support?
Reading Prompt: Comprehension Strategies
Decide the three most important facts in today’s story. Share them with a partner. Were they the same as your partner’s or different? Share your reasons to justify your thinking.
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3).
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them appropriately before, during, and after reading to understand increasingly complex texts(OME, Reading: 1.3).
Grammar Feature: Demonyms
Residents of any place (country, province, state, city, town, county, or even neighbourhood) are sometimes called a name which tells where they are from. For example, a group of people from Hamilton can be referred to as Hamiltonians. A group of people from Jerusalem could also be called Jerusalemites. But it’s not always so simple. People from Greece are Greeks; People from Moscow are Moscovites; People from Syracuse are Syracusans.
See if you can figure out what the demonym is for each place listed below:
1. Vancouver ________________________
2. Calgary ______________________________
3. Halifax ______________________________
4. New Brunswick ________________________
5. Regina ___________________________
7. Prince Rupert _________________________
8. North Bay ____________________________
9. Laval _______________________________
10. Winnipeg ____________________________