Final Word from Friday, May 22, 2009

Ex-Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek will need some recognizable faces to pull off the creation of a new political party. What Kalousek brings to the table is his ability to raise money. Take away his deal-making skills, and his new TOP 09 spins nowhere fast. It might be a one-trick pony anyway, designed to cash in on the huge environmental-cleanup tender organized by the finance ministry. The tender is rumored to be an ODS-ČSSD affair, but ČSSD Vice Chair Zdeněk Škromach rejected this on Rádio Impuls. It's mainly a Kalousek deal, he said, and it's a bigger tunnel job than even the church restitution. Martin Bursík and other Greens were heavily involved, too, he said. Such tunnel talk is pushing the value of the contract down from a staggering Kč 115bn to a meager Kč 40-50bn. Still a lot of money, but no longer the drop-dead amount that would keep scores of politicians in furs for life. Anyone famous who considers joining Kalousek in TOP 09 will have to decide how much his or her reputation is worth.[Czech Republic Catholic Church radio Party KDU-ČSL]

Glossary of difficult words

the company you keep - reputation comes from the people you associate with;

to pull something off - to succeed in achieving something that is difficult;

TOP 09 - in Czech, this stands for Tradition, Responsibility, Prosperity;

one-trick pony - a person who does one thing well but has limited skills in other areas;

to tunnel - the informal Czech term for stripping assets from a company;

staggering - astonishingly high;

meager - lacking in quantity; small amount;

drop-dead amount - (slang) the amount that is enough to allow one to tell others to drop dead.


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