Final Word from Monday, February 28, 2011



TOP 09 won the Prague municipal elections last Oct. by keeping Miroslav Kalousekout of the limelight and by strutting Karel Schwarzenberg and Zdeněk Tůma as itsmascots. If repeat Prague elections are held in June or later this year (which seemslikely), whitewashing the negative Kalousek brand won't be possible again. Whatevergain TOP could hope to enjoy from the backlash against the ODS-ČSSD grand coalitionwould be offset by the VAT melee. TOP's supporters could have rallied behinda 17% VAT rate, but not 20%. TOP could also lose points because its election leader,Zdeněk Tůma, has been practically invisible in the opposition. It might even need toscout out a new leader. Otherwise, it could find that after the elections it needs to negotiatenot only with ODS and ČSSD to form a majority city assembly, but also witha slew of pesky rebels, such as the Greens, SNK, SSO, Občané.cz and the Bobo party.

Glossary of difficult words

rebel rousing - a word play on "rabble rousing," which means to seek to inflame the emotions of a crowd; in other words, a combination of the ODS-ČSSD grand coalition and the 20% VAT rate might allow a group of "rebel" parties to do well in the Prague elections; 

to strut - to display in order to impress others; 

limelight - the focus of public attention; 

to whitewash - to deliberately conceal someone’s mistakes; 

backlash - a strong and adverse reaction by a large number of people; 

melee - a confused fight, skirmish or scuffle; 

to scout (out) - to search for a suitably talented person; 

slew - a large number or quantity of something; 

pesky - causing trouble; annoying.

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