Final Word from Monday, December 21, 2009

In a down-with-capitalism year, only two of the 40 people chosen by MFD as Czechs of the Year 2009 are businessmen. One of them was concert promoter Robert Porkert of Live Nation, who was recognized for bringing Pink, Tina Turner and AC/DC to Prague. The other, Vladimír Kovář of Unicorn, was honored for blowing the whistle on an allegedly rigged tender at the Statistical Office won by Hewlett-Packard. Kovář no doubt did a public service when he spoke openly in HN about corruption. Yet this is the same Vladimír Kovář who, according to Europolis developer, put a subsidiary into bankruptcy so that he could run out on a long-term lease at Danube House in Prague-Karlín. In this light, Kovář's whistleblowing seems to be just another in-your-face business tactic. Anyone who exposes corruption should be praised for the deed, but before we erect a statue, we should also examine the character.[Czech Republic ICT IT Hospodářské noviny MF Dnes]

Glossary of difficult words

to blow the whistle on - to bring an illicit activity under public scrutiny by informing on the person responsible;

rigged - managed or conducted fraudulently so as to produce a result that is advantageous to a particular person;

to run out on something - to abandon;

in-your-face - in a bold, aggressive manor (with the intent of achieving a given goal);

character - the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.

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