This is short conversation class based on the ongoing financial problems in Cyprus.
First show students the photo above and try to elicit the news story.
You may want to pre-teach the following vocabulary:
bank bailout / rescue package – a big loan to stop the collapse of a country’s banks
a run on a bank – when everybody panics and tries to withdraw all their money
The IMF – the International Monetary Fund (they probably have the initials in another order)
Give out the following questions and have students discuss them in small groups:
- What’s been happening in Cyprus this week? Share your knowledge with your group.
- What’s your opinion on the situation there?
- What do you think of the original proposal to pay for the bank bailout? (taking money from people’s savings)
- What do you think would happen if they made a similar proposal here?
- How do stories like this make you feel? Scared? Frustrated?
Here are 2 headlines from sensationalist UK newspaper “The Daily Mail”:
“The Germans are trying to take our lives and our money” say angry Cypriots.
“If Cyprus falls into Putin’s hands we will have lost the first battle of the new cold war.”
What do you think of these two headlines?
- Who do you think is most responsible for the crisis?
- What do you think of Iceland’s response to it? (jailing bankers and refusing to pay back loans)
- Many people who live in Cyprus are retired ex-pats, have you ever thought of moving to another country when you retire? If so where would you like to live? Where are the most typical places to retire to?