Final Word from Tuesday, September 5, 2017



The jokes about ANO's new campaign platform, "Now or never," begin with the cover. Andrej Babiš even scrimps on commas, goes the joke, because the "or" in Czech must be preceded by a comma. The fun doesn't end there. In the introduction, Babiš promises that ANO "won't lie or steal." Why would he start now, right? "We won't privatize healthcare." We'll leave that to our Hartenberg fund. "We'll cut the number of ministers from 16 to 13." We'll call the other three 'senior placeholders' and give the seats to our coalition partner. "We'll implement central purchasing." You'll see, networking one more profit center into the holding company's procurement system will be a breeze. "We'll reduce the number of workers at the cabinet office by half." Corporate headquarters will handle most of the heavy stuff. "We'll propose a change to the electoral system." Why hold expensive elections when voters can give us a four-year extension at our annual general meeting? "Now or never?" More like, 'Now and forever.' [Czech Republic program agenda investment private-equity Agrofert]

Glossary of difficult words

Now, and forever - we intentionally placed the comma where it does not belong;

platform - the declared policy of a political party or group;

to scrimp - to economize; to be thrifty or parsimonious;

Hartenberg - Babiš's private-equity fund, which owns the largest provider of assisted-reproductive services;

placeholder - someone who holds an official or government post, esp. a post that is given as a reward for supporting the group now in power, rather than on merit;

procurement - the action of purchasing or obtaining something;

a breeze - a thing that is easy to do or accomplish.

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