Reading the English newspaper

  1. l. Read the article and do the exercises.

Carving Up the Scraps of Power

“The Economist ”

For months Argentina’s president and his finance officials promised that an IMF deal was imminent.

Recently it seemed that this might even he true. But it has become clear that for every obstacle the government painstakingly surmounts.

The government is still going through the motions of trying to reach an agreement with the IMF which would at least roll over Argentina’s obligations to the fund itself. The economy minister wrote his own draft plan of intent (though such documents are normally negotiated), but the IMF dashed his hopes. The Funds spokesman said that the two sides were not talking about any kind of final timetable for a deal.

The Argentina’s government thinks this unfair. The economy seems to have stopped shrinking at last. The peso has hovered close to 3.60 to the dollar, inflation remains restrained. The central bank’s reserves have risen a little. So have tax revenues. The central government had a budget surplus of 200 m pesos in July, though that would disappear if Argentina resumes debt payments.

But the government has yet to show that it has a coherent economic program. It has not decided what to do about bank deposits frozen by the previous government. Congress, having blocked a plan to turn these into bonds, has turned its attention to bank bashing. The average Argentine still blames the banks for the confiscation of savings and much else besides. The banks, in turn, having written off huge losses, want reassurance that Argentines still want a banking system.

Congress recently extended for three months a ban on mortgage foreclosures and the seizing of debtor’s cars. The Senate unanimously approved a bill reinstating a 2 % tax on interests and commissions for a bankrupt trade-union health scheme.

Another measure would make foreign banks’ head officials liable for new deposits in their Argentine branches. Until such measures are withdrawn, the banks want any deal with the IMF halted. But they have agreed with the government to delay indexing most loans to inflation.

Then there are the courts. On taking office in January, Mr. Duhalde misguidedly set in motion the impeachment of the Supreme Court. But having failed to raise the necessary two-thirds majority in Congress, he is now desperately lobbying to halt this because the court is bloody-mindedly ruling government measures unconstitutional. Last month, it struck down a 13 % cut in government salaries and pensions made last year. That creates a large fiscal hole. The court may also reverse a government decree which converted dollar deposits into pesos. That would mark the end of the banking system, whose dollar denominated assets were turned into (devalued) pesos at par.

The creeping paralysis of government has led to calls for the presidential election to be brought forward. But the candidacy of the ruling party is being squabbled over by half a dozen contenders.

Argentines are clamouring for new leaders. But none has yet appeared. The danger Argentina faces is one of stasis, in which the election fails to produce a government capable of imposing its will, or of starting to rebuild the country’s discredited institutions. No wander that the IMF is now demanding “political consensus” for any deal.

  1. 2. Answer the questions.
  1. What progress has Argentina made under the interim president?
  2. Why do you think the country needs a new government?
  3. In what way do the present Argentina’s government influence the economy?
  1. 3. Use the new vocabulary while rendering the text.
  1. 4. Find the English equivalents in the text to the words below.
    Use them in your own situation:

^восстанавливать (порядок или в прежнем положении);

  1. покушаться на что-то, задавать трепку;
  2. сразить, свалить;
  3. вздорить, пререкаться по пустякам;
  4. соперник, претендент, кандидат;
  5. требовать.
  1. 5. Find the sentences in the text with the synonyms to the given words and translate these sentences into Russian:
  1. meticulous, scrupulous;
  2. to cease, to stop;
  3. impediment, snag;
  4. to diminish, to dwindle;
  5. to curb.
  1. 6. Find words in the text which mean the following:
  1. a person chosen to speak officially for a group;
  2. naturally or reasonably connected and therefore easy to understand;
  3. an amount additional to what is needed or used;
  4. an amount of money usually related to the value of goods sold, paid to the person who sold them;
  5. to attempt to influence someone in order to persuade them to support one’s actions, needs or beliefs;
  6. a person who takes part in a competition;
  7. a quantity of something kept for future use; store;
  8. a plan with a list of the times at which stated events are to happen;
  9. the first rough and incomplete form of something written, drawn, or planned.

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Источник: Е. Н. Малюга. Английский язык для экономистов: Учебник для вузов / Е. Н. Малюга, Н.              В. Ваванова, Г. Н. Куприянова, И. В. Пушнова. — СПб.: Питер,2005. — 304 с.: ил.. 2005

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