Final Word from Friday, April 10, 2009

Václav Klaus was on his best behavior when Barack Obama was in town, and again yesterday when he designated Jan Fischer as the new Czech PM. In neither case did things work out the way Klaus had hoped. He was successfully sidelined by both the White House and the Topolánek-Paroubek coalition and had no choice but to suck it up. If he had misbehaved, he would have only dug himself deeper into a hole. The next big test will be the EU summit in June, at which a key decision on the Lisbon treaty is to be made. Prague is abuzz with talk about whether Klaus plans to run the summit amok. Thanks to the White House and Topolánek-Paroubek coalition, the EU has a template for how to keep Klaus in line. It can use its anonymous sources and friendly journalists to put out the message that if Klaus tries any tricks, the Lisbon decision will be delayed and Klaus will take the blame. If this is done well, Klaus will get the message and - like a model child - will send PM Jan Fischer to the summit instead.[Czech Republic European Union prime minister United States of America Jiří Mirek]

Glossary of difficult words

obedient - submissive to another's will; complying or willing to comply with orders or requests;

PM - prime minister;

to sideline - to remove someone from the center or activity or attention; to place in a less influential position;

to suck it up - to accept a hardship;

to dig oneself into a hole - to get oneself into an awkward or restrictive situation;

abuzz - filled with a continuous humming sound;

to run something amok - to cause something to get out of control;

template - something that serves as a model for others to copy.


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