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    #1

    "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Hello,

    In the news article "NATO invites Russia to join Europe missile shield", it says:

    NATO says the cost of the system would be relatively cheap when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance — euro200 million euros, or about $260 million, over 10 years. But critics contend that's a big pricetag for Europe, suffering from a debt crisis that has led to higher unemployment while forcing governments to raise taxes, cut services and slash civil servant salaries amid austerity drives for many nations.
    Does it mean that each nation has to pay $ 260 million? It cannot be the total cost, so I think that it must be for each nation. But in the next sentence, it says, "that's a big pricetag for Europe". Is entire Europe suffering from debt crisis? I have read about some countries having debt problems, so I think it may be more accurate to say something like 'many countries in Europe suffering from debt crisis'. Or does it mean that since some countries (suffering from debt crisis) may not be able to pay that much money, therefore, Europe may not be able to afford it?

    Thank you

  1. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Does it mean that each nation has to pay $260 million?
    The way I read it is that $260 million is the total cost of the system, and that cost would be spread across the entire 28-nation alliance.

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    #3

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Thank you lauralie2.

    Over 10 years, that would be $ 26 million a year, and spread across 28 nations, would mean less than a million a year for each nation. If they are not able to spend even that much for a shield then things must be really bad in Europe.

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    #4

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Thank you lauralie2.

    Over 10 years, that would be $ 26 million a year, and spread across 28 nations, would mean less than a million a year for each nation. If they are not able to spend even that much for a shield then things must be really bad in Europe.
    lauralie2 could be correct but I did not interpret it that way. It is not clear, but I assumed that was the cost per country. $260 million sounds far too cheap, to me.

    Also, saying that Europe is suffering from a debt crisis doesn't mean that every country has a problem, just that Europe overall does. It would make sense even without the EU if many countries had a problem. With the EU it makes even more sense - the economies are closely connected and most share the same currency.

  3. lauralie2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    It is not clear, but I assumed that was the cost per country. $260 million sounds far too cheap, to me.
    Assuming the cost of the system is evenly spread, it works out to roughly $1 million USD per year--relatively cheap.

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    #6

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    lauralie2 could be correct but I did not interpret it that way. It is not clear, but I assumed that was the cost per country. $260 million sounds far too cheap, to me.

    Also, saying that Europe is suffering from a debt crisis doesn't mean that every country has a problem, just that Europe overall does. It would make sense even without the EU if many countries had a problem. With the EU it makes even more sense - the economies are closely connected and most share the same currency.

    Thank you Munch. I understand what you wrote about how the economies are closely connected and see how that can have an overall effect on Europe.

    I agree that it is too cheap. Since $260 million is close to the cost of a Boeing 747 Jumbo, I think $260 million as the share of cost for entire Europe seems not possible. And moreover it says over 10 years. So it seems even less possible, unless the US is again at some "creative financing" schemes.

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    #7

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    One thing is clear: the meaning of the original sentence is unclear. We can only guess.

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    #8

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    One thing is clear: the meaning of the original sentence is unclear. We can only guess.
    Thank you fivejedjon. Once again your words console me about my inability to understand.

    If native speakers have different interpretations, then what chance do we have? I hope such material is not in English exams such as TOEFL and IELTS.

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    #9

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by Olympian View Post
    Thank you fivejedjon. Once again your words console me about my inability to understand.

    If native speakers have different interpretations, then what chance do we have? I hope such material is not in English exams such as TOEFL and IELTS.
    TOEFL and IELTS do some pretty weird things sometimes, but I don't think they'd sink that low.

    I hope that these do not prove to be famous last words.

    By the way, I am sure that this sort of lack of clarity appears in most languages.

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    #10

    Re: "when spread across the entire 28-nation alliance"

    Quote Originally Posted by fivejedjon View Post
    TOEFL and IELTS do some pretty weird things sometimes, but I don't think they'd sink that low.

    I hope that these do not prove to be famous last words.

    By the way, I am sure that this sort of lack of clarity appears in most languages.
    I agree about lack of clarity in most languages. But I think it may be due to the writer, not because the language has inherent limitations. I could be wrong because I am not a linguist.

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