Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.
- get (one’s) hands on (something) / gɛt hændz ɑn / (idiom) – to successfully find or get something, usually after experiencing difficulty
I finally got my hands on the limited-edition sneakers.
- mirror / ˈmɪr ər / (v.) – to copy someone or something very closely
The new team leader mirrors her boss’s management style.
- reboot / riˈbut / (v.) – to make a change in something to have a new beginning
After a two-year break, the actress is planning to reboot her career.
- reinforce / ˌri ɪnˈfɔrs / (v.) – to strengthen or encourage something
The company will adjust its policies to reinforce employee attendance.
- autonomy / ɔˈtɒn ə mi / (n.) – the quality of being able to govern oneself
The government granted autonomy to the small island.
Read the text below.
The Spanish government on Tuesday announced a 12.3 billion-euro ($13.2 billion) investment plan to convert the country into a major producer of microchips and help reduce the dependence of Spain and the European Union on other suppliers.
The announcement in Madrid came as Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez was to meet with leaders of technological firms at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, to explain the plan and seek further investment.
Speaking in Madrid, Deputy Prime Minister and Economy Minister Nadia Calviño said the five-year plan is aimed at enabling Spain to cover every area in the design and production of microchips, which are now considered key to all areas of modern industry.
A global computer chip shortage has made it harder for consumers to get their hands on cars, computers and other modern-day necessities. The European Union has announced a $48 billion plan to become a major semiconductor producer, mirroring U.S. President Joe Biden’s $52 billion push to invest in a national chip-producing sector to ensure more production occurs domestically.
She said the plan was among the most ambitious of the Spanish government’s projects to reboot the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic and that it would have an effect on other sectors.
The project was directed at boosting the EU’s weak position in microchip production, which Calviño said represented some 10% of the world total. She said this led to a great dependence on a small number of major producers such as Taiwan, the United States, South Korea, Japan and China.
Calviño added that “the war in Ukraine makes it a priority to reinforce strategic autonomy in energy, technology, food production as well as cybersecurity.”
This article was provided by The Associated Press.
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.
- Microchips have become essential in the development of products like automobiles and electronic devices. Do you think Spain’s plan to invest in the microchip industry is a good idea, or is it better to invest in other resources (ex. oil, renewable energy)? Discuss.
- Calviño said that the investment plan’s goal is to reboot Spain’s economy after the pandemic. What actions has your government taken to reboot the economy (ex. extending operating hours of businesses)? Do you think your country’s economy has recovered by now? Why or why not? Discuss.
- Do you think your country can sustain itself without relying on other nations (ex. for energy, food production)? Why or why not? Discuss.
- What do you think are the pros and cons of strategic autonomy (ex. pro: no need to fully rely on other countries for resources, con: absence of alliance with other countries)? Discuss.