Final Word from Friday, April 17, 2009

Miroslav Kalousek is constantly hinting at leaving politics. Bring it on, we say! The country will be better off without him. There's a belief that whatever bad Kalousek has done in terms of back-room deals, it's counterbalanced by his professionalism as finance minister. Yet this is the same minister who - despite warnings that were visible from afar - put together this year's budget based on 4.8% GDP growth and obstinately refused to revise it. The Czech Republic has wasted a year in terms of cutting wasteful spending, curbing outright theft and convincing people that they must tighten their belts. It's not surprising that Kalousek was voted Finance Minister of the Year in post-communist countries. In the small Czech context, he represents what Simon Johnson is talking about in The Atlantic. Kalousek is party to the "financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform." It's true that his successors might be even worse, but they're unlikely to match the misleading "professionalism" with which he has conducted business.[Emergeing Markets gross domestic profit]

Glossary of difficult words

to pack it in - (informal) to stop what one is doing;

bring it on! - let it happen! (popularized by George W. Bush);

back-room - secretive, shady;

afar - at a distance;

obstinately - stubbornly refusing to change one's opinion;

to curb - to restrain or keep in check;

to be party to - to be involved in or associated with.


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