Final Word from Tuesday, August 30, 2016



A frequent clue in a crossword puzzle is "arbitrary ruler," and the possible answers include "despot," "tyrant," "oppressor" and even "Joffrey," if the puzzle has a TV theme. If the answer requires a five-letter word, nothing fits better in the Czech context than "Babiš." Yesterday's surprise announcement that EET won't apply initially to food stands is only the latest example of his impulsive reading of Czech law. Before that he engaged in public contradiction of his deputy minister about tips. "Absolutely no exceptions to EET," said Alena Schillerová, only to be overruled by the "decider." Enforcement of the invoice-matching system has also been arbitrary, as is much of the budget process. And then there's the impounding of his competitors' trucks by customs agents. None of this is really arbitrary, of course. Everything is done with Babiš's own interests in mind. If a ruler acts this way in times of peace, imagine how he will act in times of crisis. [Czech Republic online sales-reporting system]

Glossary of difficult words

Joffrey - a sadistic, impetuous character in Game of Thrones;

impulsive - acting or done without forethought;

to impound - to seize and take legal custody of (something, especially a vehicle, goods, or documents) because of an infringement of a law.

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