Final Word from Wednesday, January 9, 2019



When Václav Klaus compares the EU to the USSR, his detractors chalk it up to his illiberal views and his orientation toward a Russia that wants to break the Western alliances apart. How will these same people react to a similar comment by their liberal hero George Soros? He told the Financial Times that the EU reminds him in some ways of the waning days of the Soviet Union, with a Brussels bureaucracy failing to understand that it is losing the battle. Respekt magazine wrote last week that Brussels doesn't seem to be very interested in addressing Andrej Babiš's conflict of interest and that Babiš's opponents will need to look elsewhere for support. During a slew of media appearances in Prague last week, EU Commissioner Věra Jourová tended to support a let's-tread-lightly view by saying that Babiš's fate as a politician isn't the only one at stake. As you ponder this, keep in mind that the Soviet Union collapsed because its biggest supporters suddenly stopped defending it. [ Czech Republic FT European Union Commission U.S.S.R. ]

Glossary of difficult words

to be of a single mind - to be in agreement;

detractor - a person who disparages or belittles someone or something;

to chalk something up as - to ascribe something to a particular cause;

to wane - to become weaker; to decrease in vigor or intent;

slew - a large number or quantity of something;

to tread lightly - to be tactful in one's dealing with someone so as not to offend or aggravate;

to ponder - to think about carefully.

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