Texto adaptado para as questões 41 a 43.
Deficits can pave the wave to popularity in politics, at least in the short run, and they tempt even the most conservative parties to spend big. The reason politicians avoid austerity became clear Friday in Greece. Skai TV reported that public opinion was shifting against the budgetary reforms of George Papandreou, the country’s socialist prime minister, who came to power last autumn. Nine out of 10 civil servants in Greece are against reducing their “extra” months’ salary, as were a vast majority of private-sector workers. Benefit cuts, and increases in the sales and fuel tax, also provoked widespread opposition, according to the Skai poll. Clashes broke out in central Athens on Friday during a protest outside Parliament as lawmakers prepared to vote on austerity measures to deal with Greece’s debt crisis, The Associated Press reported. Mr. Papandreou defeated his opponent, the center-right politician Kostas Karamanlis who had also tried cuts, with promises of a stimulus package. Now Mr. Papandreou finds himself forced to ask Greece, and Greeks, to spend less, rather than more. In an interview published Friday by the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mr. Papandreou said, “We do not want to be the Lehman Brothers of the E.U.”
(The New York Times, March 5, 2010)
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