Posted by: Idioma Extra | November 28, 2011

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Colombian president warns U.S., Europe to shape up


Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has a message for Europe and the United States: “Put your house in order.”

In an interview with CNN’s Richard Quest, the Colombian president, who took office in August of last year, said he sees an “economic hurricane” sweeping the industrialized world.

His warnings are not just empty talk. The South American country’s economy is expected to grow 5.5 percent this year. It is among the group of countries financial analysts call the “CIVETS”: Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.

As HSBC CEO Michael Geoghegan described them in a speech in London last year, these countries have a “large, young, growing population. Each has a diverse and dynamic economy. And each, in relative terms, is politically stable.” A civet is also a small, nocturnal mammal with a long body and short legs that is native to the tropical forests of Asia and Africa.

Asked by Quest what advice Santos would give to the United States and Europe, Santos said now is the time to act decisively.

“We’re saying what they told us 10 years ago,” Santos said. “Put your house in order; because your disorder is affecting us. Take the decisions that are necessary. Have the political will and the political capacity to make unpopular decisions that are necessary because you’re going to affect the whole world if you continue with this uncertainty.”

Santos also warned that the United States and Europe cannot get out of trouble by printing money and using creative monetary policy. “That money will not stay (in their countries) because it will go after a better return (somewhere else),” he said.

Santos also said that another global financial crisis would erase the growth achieved by countries such as his in the past decade.

Word of the Day

\wəl, (ə)l, əl, ˈwil\
Origin: Middle English (1st & 3d singular present indicative), from Old English wille (infinitive wyllan); akin to Old High German wili (3d singular present indicative) wills, Latin velle to wish, will
First Known Use: before 12th century
transitive verb
1: desire, wish <call it what you will>
2 a : to order or direct by a will <willed that her property be divided among her children>; b : to dispose of by or as if by a will : bequeath <willed his entire estate to this wife>
3a : to determine by an act of choice; b : decree, ordain <Providence wills it>; c : intend, purpose; d: to cause or change by an act of will <believed he could will himself to succeed>; also : to try to do so
verbal auxiliary
1—used to express desire, choice, willingness, consent, or in negative constructions refusal <no one would take the job> <if we will all do our best> <will you please stop that racket>
2—used to express frequent, customary, or habitual action or natural tendency or disposition <will get angry over nothing> <will work one day and loaf the next>
3—used to express futurity <tomorrow morning I will wake up in this first-class hotel suite — Tennessee Williams>
4—used to express capability or sufficiency <the back seat will hold three passengers>
5—used to express probability and often equivalent to the simple verb <that will be the babysitter>
6a —used to express determination, insistence, persistence, or willfulness <I have made up my mind to go and go I will>; b —used to express inevitability <accidents will happen>
7—used to express a command, exhortation, or injunction <you will do as I say, at once>
intransitive verb
1: to have a wish or desire <whether we will or no>
2: to exercise the will
3: choose <do as you will>
1: desire, wish: as
2 a: disposition, inclination <where there’s a will there’s a way>; b : appetite, passion; c : choice, determination
3 a : something desired; especially : a choice or determination of one having authority or power; b (1) archaic : request, command (2) [from the phrase our will is which introduces it] : the part of a summons expressing a royal command
4: the act, process, or experience of willing : volition
5 a : mental powers manifested as wishing, choosing, desiring, or intending; b : a disposition to act according to principles or ends; c : the collective desire of a group <the will of the people>
6: the power of control over one’s own actions or emotions <a man of iron will>
7: a legal declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of his or her property or estate after death; especially : a written instrument legally executed by which a person makes disposition of his or her estate to take effect after death

More Vocabulary

Erase: v. to remove from existence or memory
Office: n.
a special duty, charge, or position conferred by an exercise of governmental authority and for a public purpose : a position of authority to exercise a public function and to receive whatever emoluments may belong to it
Policy: n.
prudence or wisdom in the management of affairs
Relative: adj.
relevant, pertinent

Idioms & Phrases

Put one’s house in order: to put one’s business or personal affairs into good order. (As if one were cleaning one’s house.)

  • There was some trouble in the department office and the manager was told to put his house in order.

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