Fears over Greek olive 'cure'



The Greek Health Ministry is concerned about public faith in a new 'miracle cure' for cancer. Doctors have warned patients against taking a blend of olive tree leaves and water.

The Health Ministry's anger over the new olive elixir is mainly directed at the country's populist television chat shows which have been whipping up a frenzy. Several elderly cancer sufferers have been paraded on screen to recount how the mixture of raw olive leaves and water had healed them. The Central Medical Council has warned that the so-called 'miracle cure' had not been tested and expressed fears that sufferers will abandon conventional medicine and die as a result.

Even though Greece is covered with olive trees, profiteers have been convincing the gullible to part with forty five to sixty euros for a kilo of the 'magic' leaves. In southern Greece at the weekend, two middle aged brothers had a furious argument over whether they should give the beverage to their third brother who is sick with cancer. The eldest brother grabbed a kitchen knife and stabbed his forty year old sibling three times in the chest and stomach. He rushed him to hospital but it was too late


Part A. Reading Comprehension.

I. Answer the following questions using your own words but taking into account the information in the text. (2 points: 1 point each)

a) What does the Central Medical Council fear?

b) Why did the two brothers have a furious argument?


II. Are the following statements true (T) or false (F)? Identify the part of the text that supports your answer. (1.5 point: 0.5 each)

a. The Greek government is mostly angry with the people who have bought the “miracle cure”.

b. The leaves cost more than sixty euros a kilo.

c. The man who was stabbed recovered after he was rushed to hospital.


III. Find a synonym for each of the four words below from these six options: (1 point: 0.25 each)

elixir          sibling        profiteers       beverage         the gullible       part with

a) People who are easily cheated.

b) Spend money.

c) A medicine believed to cure diseases.

d) Brother or sister.


IV. Choose a, b, or c, in each question below. Only one choice is correct. (1.5 points: 0.5 each)

1. Several elderly cancer sufferers have been paraded on screen …

a) in order to criticise the “miracle cure”.

b) so that they could show people how to mix the leaves and water.

c) because they had been miraculously cured.

2. In southern Greece …

a) Two brothers stabbed and killed each other.

b) had a terrible row.

c) killed their third brother.

3. The Central Medical Council has warned that …

a) they feared sufferers would not try the “miracle cure”.

b) sufferers would die if they did not take conventional medicines.

c) sufferers should not abandon this “miracle cure”.


Part B. Composition (130-150 words approximately). Choose one of the following topics. (4 points)

1. “Most Spanish people medicate themselves without seeing a doctor” What is your opinion?

2. What are the advantages of olive oil?

3. What can we do to convince people to eat more healthily?