Final Word from Monday, November 20, 2017

As one of his last major acts as PM, Bohuslav Sobotka threw his weight last week behind the European Pillar of Social Rights. This 20-article manifesto, which was signed last Fri. at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg, is a triumph for those who want the EU to dictate what member states do in such diverse areas as education, gender equality, employment security, minimum wages, work-life balance, data-protection, childcare healthcare, pensions and homelessness. Depending on how it is implemented, this document could come to be more powerful than the Czech Bill of Rights. It is truly revolutionary in its scope. For example, the document says not only that "adequate minimum wages shall be ensured," but also that "everyone lacking sufficient resources has the right to adequate minimum income benefits ensuring a life in dignity at all stages of life." This document guarantees cradle-to-grave security and is essentially the social-democratic policy that ČSSD lacked in the election campaign. You might say that Sobotka lost the election battle but won the social war. [Czech Republic Constitution democracy charter of fundamental rights]

Glossary of difficult words

to throw one's weight behind something - to use one's influence to help support something;

scope - the extent of the area or subject matter that something deals with or to which it is relevant;

cradle-to-grave - extending throughout one's life, from birth to death.

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