Comprehension Exercise – Creative Writing – 159

Comprehension Exercise

Creative Writing – 159

Read the following paragraphs and understand the new words and phrasal verbs you encounter. After this is over, answer the questions that follow.

Argentina, beset by domestic woes, sees salvation in Qatar

In early September, I sat down with Argentine Finance Minister Sergio Massa during a visit to Washington. Massa, dubbed a “super” minister for the multiple set of portfolios he holds while running his nation’s beleaguered economy, was in the U.S. capital as part of a broader effort to stabilize a perilous situation. Debt-ridden Argentina, its foreign reserves depleted, was on the brink of hyperinflation. There were trade deals to be brokered and International Monetary Fund negotiations to be hammered out.

At the time, inflationary pressures were swirling around Washington, too, and I asked Massa whether there were any lessons Americans could draw from Argentina’s chronic experience of fiscal crises. “We are always learning,” Massa told me bluntly. “We cannot teach anything to anyone.”

In the months since, Massa has held the line, staving off the worst fears of economic analysts. He is now one of the favorites to take up the mantle of the battered and divided Peronist political establishment in elections next year. But conditions are still grim: Inflation does not appear to be decelerating and almost 40 percent of the country’s population now lives below the poverty line.

“Today the economy is held together by a battery of price and exchange controls,” noted the Economist. “Even so, inflation will be close to 100 percent this year, and in the (tolerated) black market the peso is worth less than a quarter of its value three years ago. The government lives from week to week.”

Comprehension Questions

1. Write the contents in your own words (paraphrasing).
2. See the location of Argentina in world map, and find out its neighbors. What is its capital?
3. Make sentences with the new words and phrases you find.
4. Despite being such a large country rich in natural resources, why is Argentina in such dire financial distress? Answer in brief.
(Paragraphs taken from Washington Post Today’s WorldView dated December 16, 2022.)

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