Final Word from Wednesday, February 27, 2019



Chairman Petr Rafaj of the ÚOHS antitrust office yesterday upheld the transport ministry's contract with SkyToll/CzechToll and thereby sounded the final death knell for Kapsch's 13-year reign over the pot of gold called highway tolls. A certain Prague lobbyist will no doubt argue that yesterday's ruling is evidence that we were "lying" when we warned in Oct. 2017 about possible shenanigans at the antitrust office that could favor Kapsch. In fact, Rafaj's office did initially rule in favor of Kapsch, and it was only after Bohuslav Sobotka left office as prime minister that Rafaj started to heed the wishes of his new masters, Andrej Babiš and Miloš Zeman. Yesterday's ruling is evidence that said Prague lobbyist is now impotent in terms of his ability to go against these two politicians. What's important to understand is that Kapsch lost its battle only after Sobotka lost his. Attention should now turn to making sure that the new minder of the pot of highway gold plays by the established rules. There should be no post-tender contract addendums or price increases that turn SkyToll/CzechToll into just another Kapsch. [ Czech Republic PPF ]

Glossary of difficult words

to uphold - to confirm or support (something which has been questioned or challenged);

to sound the death knell - to announce or warn about the end of something;

knell - the sound of a bell;

shenanigans - secret or dishonest activity or maneuvering;

minder - a person whose job it is to look after someone or something;

addendum - an item of additional material added at the end of a book, contract or other publication or document.

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