Final Word from Tuesday, March 9, 2010

To paraphrase a British politician, ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek was going about Prague yesterday stirring up complacency. He told the Council on Czech Competitiveness that the "hired guns" working for foreign companies have no choice but to vote for ODS, because there is no alternative. Make no mistake about it, he stressed, he knows what needs to be done after the elections, but he admitted that the chances of achieving it are diminished by the necessity of working with others who have different views. When GM Michal Chour of the Radisson said that he has a problem voting for ODS after seeing the behavior of the Prague chapter, Topolánek said that he understands this but considers it naive. If it isn't ODS, he said, it will be VV, which he said is even more mafia-like than Prague ODS. What he needs, Topolánek said, is an even stronger mandate so he can take the "brutal" measures needed to end the "racketeering" in Prague that encompasses not just politicians, but also the police, the courts and the prosecutors.[Czech Republic American Chamber of Commerce AmCham Věci veřejné]

Glossary of difficult words

racket - (in this sense) an illegal or dishonest scheme for obtaining money; 

Pavel Bem - mayor of Prague (ODS);

Bém's racket - a play on the expression that even Václav Klaus's tennis racket can win in Prague; 

"going round and round the country stirring up complacency" - suggesting that the politician is causing voters to not want to vote; 

VV - Věci veřejné, a relatively young political party that seems to have a good chance to make it into Parliament; 

racketeering - organized crime involving extortion, bribery, obstruction of justice, etc..


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