There is a sign behind the counter of Trinxant Butcher's and Delicatessen beside a row of whole legs of cured Iberian ham which reads: "This year we're not closing for holidays." It is a trend that has been noticed in towns and cities around Spain. Stores, bars, market stalls and newspaper kiosks that used to close for August have decided to stay open. Cities continue to bustle with busy workers and traffic jams that traditionally disappeared in August.
Seville's city government announced last week it would be "open and fully active" all month. The annual August exodus is said to be vanishing like that other great Spanish cultural tradition, the siesta, as companies cut lunch breaks down from two or three hours to one.
The changing attitude to summer holidays is partly due to the crisis in the Spanish economy. The country has the highest level of unemployment in the EU at 21% and even higher at 46% among those under 24 years of age. In Catalunia, the region of north east Spain that includes Barcelona, 18% of the 7.5 million population are living below the poverty line, earning less than 640 euros a month. Many small businesses are struggling in these circumstances and few can afford the luxury of a month without earnings.
Adapted from The Guardian August 2011
Question 1: [2 POINTS] Indicate whether the following statements are true or false and write down which part of the text justifies your answer.
a) This year Trinxant Butcher’s and Delicatessen is shutting for vacations.
- False. There is a sign behind the counter of Trinxant butcher’s and delicatessen, beside a row of whole legs of cured Iberian ham, which reads: “This year we’re not closing for holidays.”
b) Most people who live in Catalonia have a very low standard of living.
- False. In Catalonia, the region of north east Spain that includes Barcelona, 18% o the 7.5 million population are living below the poverty line, earning less than 640 euros a month.
c) Companies are allowing people more time for breaks.
- False. The annual August exodus is said to be vanishing, like that other great Spanish cultural tradition, the siesta, as companies cut lunch breaks down from two or three hours to one.
d) Many small companies can allow their staff to have the whole of August off.
- False. Many small businesses are struggling in these circumstances and few can afford the luxury of staff taking a month off without earnings.
Question 2: [2 POINTS] Answer the following questions in your own words according to the text.
a) What is preventing people from going on holiday for the whole of August?
b) What has happened to daily life in cities in August?
Daily life has started to become the same as it is during the rest of the year. (cities continue with their routine)
Question 3: [1,5 POINTS] Find words or phrases in the text that correspond to the words and definitions given.
- a) A tendency (paragraph 2): A trend
- b) Disappearing (paragraph 3): Vanishing, to vanish, vanish
- c) To reduce (paragraph 3): Cut down, to cut down
Question 4: [1,5 POINTS] Complete the following sentences without changing the meaning.
a) This new company has offered Paul a very well paid job.
b) “I’ll do my best in the next exam”, Susan promised her parents.
- Susan promised her parents to do her best in the following exam.
- Susan promised her parents that she would do her best.
c) “Students must hand in their essays by the end of next week”, the teacher said.
- The teacher said that the students had to hand in their essays by the end of the following week.
- The teacher said that their essays had to be handed in by the end of the next (following) week.