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English Questions: Cloze Test Set – 161

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Another year, another threat to the European Union’s survival. The good news is that the greatest (1) of 2016, Britain’s vote to exit the EU, appears manageable. The bad news is that both France and Italy face the (2) of a populist political takeover this year. Either outcome could well spell the end of the EU.
The EU has lately become a prime target for (3) . The phenomenon first took hold in Greece, when the left-wing Syriza party came to power in January 2015. But Syriza was not trying to pull Greece out of the EU; rather, it wanted a better deal with the country’s creditors, who had imposed devastating (4) measures on Greek citizens.
The Year Ahead 2017 Cover Image
Syriza’s approach largely reflected the will of the people. In a June 2015 (5) , voters overwhelmingly rejected a deal proposed by Greece’s creditors that would have meant even more austerity. Yet the government’s acceptance of a largely unchanged deal just a few days later received broad support. Greek voters understood that better terms were not worth losing eurozone membership.
To be sure, not everyone considered EU membership to be worth the sacrifice. But there was an air of practicality in popular criticism of the EU, which largely focused on what the EU did, especially in the economic (6) . That is why such criticism has been (7) in the countries that were hit the hardest by the euro crisis, or that faced (8) , or, more recently, that felt left behind by trade agreements.
That is no longer the case. Right-wing populism has gained (9) in strong economies (Austria) and in countries where the benefits of EU membership are palpable (Hungary and Poland). In France, there was never any EU-imposed austerity; even European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker admitted that the EU’s budget rules cannot actually be imposed on France, “because it is France.”
Now, populists are focused not on what the EU does, but what it represents. Instead of asking whether the EU is making people richer or poorer, populists are focused on a more (10) and powerful question: “Who are we?”

  1. 1) assertion
    2) petition
    3) prerogative
    4) disruption
    5) pretension
    Answer – 4)
    Explanation : disruption

  2. 1) counterclaim
    2) ultimatum
    3) plea
    4) prospect
    5) affirmation
    Answer – 4)
    Explanation : prospect

  3. 1) populists
    2) anomalous
    3) bizarre

    4) extraordinary

    5) deviating

    Answer – 1)
    Explanation : populists

  4. 1) meekness
    2) austerity
    3) blandness
    4) calmness
    5) gentility
    Answer – 2)
    Explanation : austerity

  5. 1) referendum
    2) atypical
    3) deviate
    4) heterodox
    5) fantastic
    Answer – 1) 
    Explanation : referendum

  6. 1) limelight
    2) beginning
    3) forepart
    4) sphere
    5) vanguard
    Answer – 4)
    Explanation : sphere

  7. 1) loudest
    2) improper
    3) allegation
    4) curious
    5) pretense
    Answer – 1)
    Explanation : loudest

  8. 1) center
    2) austerity
    3) application
    4) entreaty
    5) birthright
    Answer – 2)
    Explanation : austerity

  9. 1) redundance
    2) unfitting
    3) traction
    4) peril
    5) dynamite
    Answer –  3) 
    Explanation : traction

  10. 1) exigency
    2) types
    3) unseemly
    4) jeopardy
    5) fundamental
    Answer – 5)
    Explanation : populists