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Spain Asks For Financial Bailout

Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy
Spain's Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy in 2011. Image: European People's Party

Last week Spain’s Prime Minister asked for $125-billion to help the country’s failing economy.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said the country needs the money to save its banks.

For months the country has tried to avoid seeking outside help.

There are 17 countries that use the Euro as their currency. Spain is the fourth of these countries to request a bailout. In this case a bailout is when other countries lend a country money to help prop up its economy.

Because its economy is so large, the need for a bailout is troubling for the European union. For instance, the Spanish economy is five times larger than that of Greece (another country that is suffering from economic problems).

Usually countries’ economies affect each other. That’s because they buy and sell things from and to each other. So if one country’s economy isn’t doing well, it affects other countries.

More than half of the people in Spain who are under age 25 are out of work.

The country has been trying to solve its own debt problems, by raising taxes and cutting back on programs that affect education and healthcare. However, those “austerity measures” have not been enough to tackle the problem.

Some people in Spain are blaming their previous government, the Socialists, for mishandling the economy. That government was replaced by Rajoy last November in a “landslide victory” as voters expressed their dissatisfaction with the Socialist government.

After making the announcement that Spain needed a bailout, Prime Minister Rajoy jetted off to Poland to watch his country’s soccer team play Italy in the Euro 2012 competition.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
This article provides a lot of information about who is affected by the debt and how. What the article doesn’t include is how people are reacting to the debt and the bailout.

Read through the article again and identify all of the different types of people mentioned. Use inference to predict how they might be dealing with this crisis situation.

Reading Prompt: Point of View
Journalists usually try to write from a neutral point of view (they don’t take a side). Explain how this article would be different if it were written by someone who was pro-bailout or someone who was anti-bailout.

Identify the point of view presented in a text and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, ask questions to identify missing or possible alternative points of view, and suggest some possible alternative perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Identify the point of view presented in texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts; give evidence of any biases they may contain; and suggest other possible perspectives (OME, Reading: 1.9).

Grammar Feature: Its vs. It’s
It’s is a contraction of the words ‘it’ and ‘is/has’. ‘It’s’ means ‘it is’ or ‘it has’.
Its is a possessive pronoun which basically means ‘belonging to it’ or ‘of it’.

Complete the following sentences with the either ‘its’ or ‘it’s’.
1. The forecasters say ____ going to rain again today.
2. ___ pretty sunny outside right now.
3. ___ sad that the pool party is today in this bad weather.
4. Since the cave is so large, the bear could house ___ cubs.
5.  The roofer took one look at the roof and said, “___ going to need a repair so it doesn’t leak.”