Final Word from Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In one of his first interviews as a politician, Andrej Babiš told Ekonom in Nov. 2011 that the reality is much worse than the country's credit rating. Unless we stop the thievery, he said, the CR will get further and further into debt. He hadn't yet started to refer to Miroslav Kalousek as the "symbol of corruption" (it was more Roman Janoušek and Marek Dalík then), but by the time he became finance minister, he was saying that his job was to repair the destruction that Kalousek had caused. We referred to Kalousek as Mr. 9.1, because of the difference between the 4.8% GDP growth he had expected in 2009 and the preliminary growth figure for that year of -4.3%. That's a difference of 9.1 percentage points! Babiš and Kalousek have now switched roles. Kalousek is accusing Babiš of systemic corruption and of failing to plan for a possible downturn. Indeed, Babiš's draft 2019 budget calls for nominal GDP growth of 5.2%. Who will repair the destruction if he becomes another Mr. 9.1? [Czech Republic economic corruption forecast]

Glossary of difficult words

déjà vu - a feeling of having already experienced the present situation;

thievery - the action of stealing another person's property; 

downturn - a decline in economic, business or other activity.

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