Final Word from Monday, January 4, 2010

In the spirit of New Year's conciliation, we'll call President Václav Klaus merely a "corruption facilitator." Many others would label him one of the masterminds. In his New Year's address, he said there's a contradiction between the reluctance of people to pay higher taxes and their unwillingness to accept a reduction in social services. (No mention of the Kč 200bn stolen from the state budget every year.) He praised the cabinet of Jan Fischer but added that the country needs a "strong government," by which he presumably meant either a grand coalition or a ČSSD minority government. But isn't this what the Fischer government already is? Sure, it's a milder version, and without the partisan bickering, but this makes it all the more pernicious. Defense Minister Martin Barták's Kč 3.6bn truck deal goes by almost unnoticed. Instead of seeing the Fischer government as a breath of fresh air, voters should probably begin to look at it as a prototype of what can be expected after the elections. Klaus apparently sees it this way.[Czech Republic Iveco facilitators ODS]

Glossary of difficult words

facilitator - someone who, through his actions or words, makes an action or process easier; 

in chief - (used mainly in the expression "commander in chief") the person in supreme command; 

conciliation - the promotion of good will by kind and considerate measures; 

mastermind - someone who plans and directs an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise; 

reluctance - unwillingness or disinclination to do something; 

grand coalition - a government of the two main parties, ODS and ČSSD; 

bickering - arguing about petty and trivial matters; 

pernicious - having a harmful effect, esp. in a gradual or subtle way; 

truck deal - a no-bid contract worth Kč 3.6bn for buying 90 Iveco light armored vehicles; 

prototype - a first or preliminary model of something.

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