Final Word from Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Think tanks are popping up like mushrooms. Well, like mushrooms in the dry season. Because of limited financing in the small CR, most of them will remain nothing more than discussion forums, which doesn't mean they aren't a nice addition to the dialogue. Jan Švejnar had to scale back his think-tank plans, Karel Schwarzenberg seems to be plugging a lost cause in wooing the Aspen Institute or something similar to Prague, and not even Zdeněk Bakala has made much public progress. Of the newcomers, CESTA might have the best mid-term prospects. Stirring up leftist discontent should be easy when rightists are cutting back everywhere but on crony corruption. CESTA's main risk is including one of these cronies, Bohuslav "Suitcase" Sobotka, as a founder. In a country where the (partial) truth always comes out, such a deeply enmeshed politician will almost certainly become a liability at some point.[Czech Republic Jiří Pehe think-tank]

Glossary of difficult words

crony - a close friend or companion; an accomplice or partner in crime;

to pop up - to appear or occur suddenly and unexpectedly;

to scale back - to reduce something in size, number or extent;

to plug - to mention something publicly in order to promote it;

to woo - to try to gain the love, favor or support of;

enmeshed - entangled in something.


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