Dutch Language Blog

Greece and the Grexit Posted by on Jul 8, 2015 in Dutch Vocabulary, News

EU Flag (photo by MPD01605 taken from Flickr.com)

EU Flag (photo by MPD01605 taken from Flickr.com)

The European Union is under a lot of pressure at the moment because of the situation in Greece. While some are in favor of the Greek refusing anymore cutbacks, others argue that their debts cannot be forgiven. The following days will prove to be difficult ones in which our leaders and the troika will decide the fate of the Union. Needless to say, whatever decision is made, it will mark the path of the Union as well as the world.

I’ve been trying to keep myself updated with the news about Greece and the financial crisis through different news sources. This is especially important, I think, in order to get a real grasp on the subject because each news source and the country they are based in sells the news for their public. While the news sources in English are varied in opinion, I can’t help but want to know what the Dutch are writing about. Because of this, I am recently acquiring more vocabulary related to the financial crisis that I think is useful. Here are just some of the most important terms or concepts I’ve come across.

  • oplossing- Perhaps the most important word in all the information about Greece is this one…a solution. Greece and the rest of the EU countries cannot seem to find a unified solution for the financial problems in Greece.
  • akkoord– The reason why the EU cannot find an oplossing is because there seems to be no agreement or akkoord. Greece has an upcoming deadline of a couple billions of Euros to pay to their creditors. The EU has recently given Greece this coming Sunday as the deadline to propose a solution for the financial crisis.
  • geldschieters- These are the organizations that have given Greece loans to cover their costs and pay their debts. In this particular case, the geldschieters or the  lenders are the European Union, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund. A more common term in the news has been “troika” which is Russian for trio.
  • bezuinigingen– One of the conditions for the bailout was that the Greek government must take cut-backs or bezuinigingen from pensions and other social programs. This is something Greece has not done to the satisfaction of the EU, and one of the reasons many Greeks voted “no” in last Sunday’s referendum.
  • schuldenverlichting– One of the most controversial solutions to Greece’s debt would be schuldenverlichting or debt relief. Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Germany would refuse any type of debt relief for Greece. After Tuesday’s emergency meeting in Brussels, she said that partial debt relief can only be a possibility when Greece presents a real oplossing.
  • steunpakket- The Greek government has requested a steunpakket or an aid package from the ESM or the European Stability Mechanism. While all emergency funds to Greece were suspended last week with the announcement of the referendum, the Greek government has asked for another aid package because the Greek banks are out of money.
  • uitstappen- If the EU cannot reach an agreement over the Greek financial crisis, the uitstappen of Greece (referred to as Grexit) seems inevitable. Chancellor Merkel and President Obama spoke last Tuesday and agreed that keeping Greece in the EU is in everyone’s best interest.
  • wachten- There is nothing left to do but to wait and hope that our leaders can come up with the best oplossing.

The following is a video of a press conference the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave this past week.

What are your thoughts on this situation?

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About the Author: Karoly Molina

Since I was a little girl, I was fascinated with languages and writing. I speak English, Spanish, Italian, Dutch and a little bit of French. I am a writer, reader, language teacher, traveler, and a food lover! I now live in The Netherlands with my husband Riccardo, our cat Mona, and our dog Lisa, and the experience has been phenomenal. The Dutch culture is an exciting sometimes topsy-turvy world that I am happily exploring!


  1. Peter Simon:


    A very good summary, especially with the video. Two additions/modifications. You speak about a couple of billion Euros. Well, I remember remember reading about a ‘faillissement’ of 3.9 bill., which is almost twice as much, and it is only the amount outstanding at the mo. The other thing is about the sum of an oplossing door de geldschieters: some suggested a package of 60 bill needed to put Greece back on course.

    But this is far from the only trouble for everyone concerned. It’s a serious political quagmire as well, should we say a geo-political one, with NATO, Turkey and Russia in the mix as well.

    • Karoly G Molina:

      @Peter Simon Hello Peter,

      I agree with you. The crisis right now is beyond financial, and I think we will see the repercussions of this for years to come.

      Just for clarification, I mention a “couple billion euros.” In the way I used it, couple means an undefined number. Have a lovely (and I hope soon a sunny) week!