Final Word from Friday, April 24, 2009

Jiří Čunek, failed politician and laughingstock, has finally found his calling. He makes a great "useful idiot." By attacking ČEZ and saying that its managers should be sacked if they don't see to it that electricity rates are regulated and a 100% dividend is paid, he's being dismissed as a kook. But he's also paving the way for others with better survival sense to broach a subject that until now has been taboo. Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek bit the hand that feeds him when he said in LN yesterday that the share price at ČEZ can be influenced more by "political decisions than managerial abilities." CEO Martin Roman, patron of the political arts, has built his wannabe Jack Welch image around his ability to create shareholder value. In one sentence, Kalousek dispelled the myth. If Kalousek - who acts in lockstep with Mirek Topolánek - is washing his hands of Roman, it is one of the biggest political and business events in the country in recent years. ČEZ's annual meeting on May 13 could prove to be quite suspenseful.[Czech Repubic General Electric GE Lidové noviny KDU-ČSL]

Glossary of difficult words

useful idiot - (in politics) a person who is easily swayed and who serves a purpose that it not necessarily in his own interest;

laughingstock - a person subjected to general mockery or ridicule;

calling - a profession or occupation;

kook - a crazy or eccentric person;

broach - to raise a sensitive or difficult subject for discussion;

to bite the hand that feeds one - to deliberately hurt or offend a benefactor;

wannabe - a person who tries to be like someone else;

Jack Welch - former CEO of General Electric;

lockstep - close adherence to and emulation of another's actions;

to wash one's hands of someone - to disclaim responsibility for.


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