Final Word from Wednesday, March 14, 2018



In a standard business negotiation, the objective is to reach a good-faith agreement that all sides can live with and, ideally, are even happy about. The next step is to implement the agreement according to the terms. Business sharks like Andrej Babiš, Petr Kellner and Radovan Vítek, to mention a few, increase their wealth dramatically by taking an entirely different approach. "Good faith" is not in their vocabulary. Their objective is to skin the other party, ideally leaving him with nothing. The initial agreement merely serves as a trap for immobilizing the victim. They usually get away with this fleecing, because they control the after-process. Politics is different. Controlling the after-process - the media, the opinion polls, the political parties, the crowds, perhaps even the courts - is too mercurial. If Babiš negotiates a coalition agreement and then proceeds to skin his political partners, instead of increasing his wealth and power, it will likely lead to his own destruction. [Czech Republic Agrofert PPF CPI cabinet government]

Glossary of difficult words

Getting to ANO (yes) - "Getting to Yes" is the title of a well-known book about negotiating;

good faith - honesty or sincerity of intention;

to skin someone - (in this context) to take money from or swindle someone;

to fleece - to obtain a great deal of money from (someone), typically by overcharging or swindling the person;

to immobilize - to prevent (something or someone) from moving or operating as normal;

after-process - (in this context) what comes later;

mercurial - subject to change; volatile.

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