Final Word from Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The EU's 2018 budget, which calls for spending of €145bn, is only three times larger than the Czech national budget of Kč 1.36 trillion (€54bn), but it is devoted far more to transfer payments between contributors (taxpayers) than the Czech budget is. The European Union has very few fixed assets of its own (roads, schools, tanks) to invest in, so Brussels acts mostly as a clearing center for things such as "smart and inclusive growth" and "connecting Europe facility." This also means that those disbursing the money have far less attachment to it than national politicians do. The result is so much theft and waste that it might even be worth it to someone to have a Slovak journalist killed to cover it up. The trend is to increase the EU budget and to tie these transfer payments to unrelated activities, such as accepting refugees. This will only increase the temptation on the part of some unscrupulous people to take drastic action to get and keep some of this stateless money. [Czech Republic Slovakia Ján Kuciak premeditated murder]

Glossary of difficult words

clearing center/house - an agency or organization which collects and distributes something;

connecting Europe facility - an EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at the European level;

to disburse - to pay out money (from a fund);

attachment - affection, fondness, or sympathy for someone or something;

stateless money - (in this context) funds that are not intrinsically linked to any one country.

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