Final Word from Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Václav Klaus's chief crisis agent, Vlastimil Tlustý, got it half-right. There will, it seems, be a government of experts, but it won't be a government handpicked by Klaus. He's been outfoxed by Mirek Topolánek and Jiří Paroubek, who now intend to nominate nonpolitical technocrats to an interim cabinet. Names like Martin Roman of ČEZ and Martin Jahn of VW are being thrown around, but they're unlikely for two reasons. First, they have their own power bases, which might pose a threat to the established political order. And second, they'd have to walk away from a gold mine for the insecurity of a five-month gig. Instead, the new ministers will likely be respected people who are given little authority to do anything. Klaus won't give up so easily, though. Watch for him to stress the need for continuity in times of crisis by allowing his favorite, Miroslav Kalousek, to remain as finance minister.[Czech Republic Volkswagen technocratic caretaker cabinet]

Glossary of difficult words

to outmaneuver someone - to use skill and cunning to secure an advantage over someone;

chief crisis agent - meant in a jocular or joking way, because Tlustý seems to be voicing the preferences of the president;

half-right - partly, but not completely, correct;

to handpick someone - to select carefully with a particular purpose in mind;

to outfox someone - to defeat or deceive someone by being more clever or cunning;

technocrat - a member of an elite of technical experts;

power base - a source of authority, influence or support;

gig - a job, esp. one that is temporary or that has an uncertain future;

to stress - to emphasize.


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