Final Word from Thursday, January 15, 2009

Economic nationalism is an inevitable outcome of a global recession, and ČSSD tried to tap into the trend yesterday. It called on Czech consumers, companies and government entities not to buy foreign products. Czechs who might want to follow this advice will face a major conundrum. What, exactly, is a foreign product in today's globalized world? Is a Coke or Pepsi bottled in Prague a "foreign product"? It might seem clear in the case of an imported VW Passat, but even here there's a percentage of Czech-sourced parts, and hundreds of local jobs are dependent on the sales and repair functions. How to sort this out? There might be a market niche for someone to create a handbook of consumer products and their percentage of local content. It might also come in handy when ČSSD decides which producers of "foreign products" should get investment incentives as part of its 52-point crisis plan.[Czech Republic Social Democrats Coca-Cola protectionism]

Glossary of difficult words

to tap into something - to exploit or draw an advantage from something;

conundrum - a confusing and difficult problem or question;

Czech-sourced - obtained from the Czech Republic;

to sort something out - to resolve a problem or difficulty;

market niche - a specialized but profitable corner of the market;

local content - (in this sense) part of the product attributable to local manpower;

to come in handy - to be useful.

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