Final Word from Friday, January 2, 2009

Václav Klaus passed the audition yesterday as non-executive president of the EU for the next six months. He showed in his New Year's address that he can still muster up a winning PR performance when needed. Anyone who followed both Klaus's and Nicolas Sarkozy's New Year's addresses could have had little doubt about which of the two was more arrogant and self-congratulatory. But then Klaus somewhat spoiled his newfound diplomatic tenor by saying in HN today that the Lisbon treaty is a way to get closer to dictatorship and to retreat from democracy. At the same time, he said that no dramatic appearances can be expected from him during the CR's EU presidency. Which suggests that Klaus could be planning a two-faced media policy during the EU presidency. Perhaps he'll be kind Dr. Jekyll when the world is watching, and evil Mr. Hyde in the seclusion of the Czech print media.[Czech Republic European Union Hospodářské noviny France]

Glossary of difficult words

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde - characters from "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Robert Lewis Stevenson. Dr. Jekyll discovers a drug that creates a separate personality (Mr. Hyde) into which Jekyll's evil impulses are channeled;

audition - an interview for a role or job;

non-executive president - Topolánek, as PM, has the executive role;

to muster (up) - to gather or assemble;

to spoil - to diminish or destroy the value or quality of something;

tenor - tone, essence, spirit;

seclusion - isolation, solitude, privacy.

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