Final Word from Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pressure from the loose anti-ČEZ coalition might be rising, but Chief Sales Officer Alan Svoboda of ČEZ scored an impressive victory yesterday. He and student debating partner Michal Pečeňa defeated the team of Erik Best of the Fleet Sheet and Kristýna Blažková of Charles University. In an annual event sponsored by the British Chamber of Commerce, Best and Blažková failed to convince the judges and the audience that a "national energy champion should put public interest before profit." Svoboda and Pečeňa won not only because of superior debating skills, but also because of the difficulty of defining "public interest." Even Green Chair Ondřej Liška was forced, as one of the judges, to side with the team promoting the status quo. The debate was a reminder that no one, including those who are so critical of ČEZ, has drawn up a convincing analysis of what should be done differently there.[Czech Republic Final Word]

Glossary of difficult words

debate - each speaker was allowed seven minutes to present his or her case or to refute the statements of the previous speaker; the motion was: "This House believes that a national energy champion should put public interest before profit.";

judges - the judges were not allowed to let their personal views on the topic to affect their evaluation of the arguments presented;

to side with - to support in a conflict, dispute or debate.

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