Final Word from Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Czech Premier Jan Fischer will have to decide very soon whether he wants to run with the dogs or dance with the wolves. The dogs, headed by ČSSD Chair Jiří Paroubek, have a loud bark and a hard bite. They want Fischer's interim cabinet to do almost nothing in terms of reform or privatization, under threat of not winning a vote of confidence in Parliament. That's a threat Paroubek can deliver on, but does Fischer really need a vote of confidence? It would be nice, but more important to him might be to show his independence by ostentatiously rejecting ČSSD's 27 demands. He has said repeatedly that he won't be anyone's puppet. Fischer could continue to rule the country without Parliament's approval, but only as long as President Václav Klaus let him. Klaus could appoint another prime minister at any time and could choose someone who is more to his gusto. What will Fischer decide to do? It's a close call, but Fischer seems more like someone who would rather take his chances and dance with the wolves.[Czech Republic technocratic caretaker]

Glossary of difficult words

dances with wolves - (from the film of the same name) suggests that Fischer will initially keep his distance from Klaus but will eventually come to understand him;

to run with the dogs - (in this sense) to run with the pack, to do what is expected of oneself;

to deliver on something - to keep (a promise), to carry through on something;

ostentatiously - designed to impress or attract notice;

gusto - individual taste;

close call - something that is difficult to evaluate because each possible outcome seems nearly as likely.


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