Final Word from Friday, June 12, 2009

A country in crisis needs moral leaders, but the Czech Republic lost one of its few moral authorities yesterday. By agreeing to become chairman of TOP 09, Karel Schwarzenberg gave cover to Miroslav Kalousek and his many dubious deeds. Schwarzenberg spoke of a sense of responsibility toward country, but this seems in fact to be the best reason NOT to help Kalousek continue his political career. As ex-Green Chair Martin Bursík noted in Právo yesterday, Schwarzenberg stated in his autobiography that his nose is sensitive to ethical issues. Perhaps the Prince has been suffering from a cold. If you recall, he also oversaw a whitewash by Kroll of the probe into Jiří Čunek's finances. It's politically incorrect to suspect Schwarzenberg of any pecuniary interests himself. That leaves the possibility that he understands how politics must work, and that it's vanity that drives him to be part of it.

Glossary of difficult words

vanity - excessive pride or admiration of one's own appearance or achievements; self-regard, egotism;

TOP 09 - a new political party (Tradition, Responsibility, Prosperity);

to give cover - to provide protection;

dubious - suspicious, suspect;

whitewash - the act of deliberately concealing someone's mistakes or faults;

probe - an investigation into a crime or other matter;

pecuniary - monetary, financial.


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