Final Word from Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Czech politicians are curling their lips at the eurozone, like a bad-mannered millionaire who can choose his friends. Almost no Czech politician wants to be caught saying anything nice about the euro. Václav Klaus started the trend by pinning Greece's problems on the common currency. It's of course much safer politically to blame something the CR doesn't have (the euro) than what it does (widespread corruption, overly generous welfare benefits). But what happens if the crown becomes the target of speculators? Who will pull the proud Czech national currency out of the gutter? The same eurozone that Czech politicians have been bad-mouthing? Remember the old blues number, "Nobody knows you when you're down and out." Wouldn't it be better politics to at least go through the motions now of establishing a date for adopting the euro? Just in case the CR one day needs its long-lost friends?[Czech Republic adoption Bessie Smith Derek & the Dominos]

Glossary of difficult words

Nobody knows you when you're down and out" - a blues song from 1923, sung by Bessie Smith, Derek & the Dominos and others; about a millionaire who loses all his friends when he loses his wealth;

to be down and out - to be desperately poor and in need of help;

to curl one's lip - to raise a corner of one's upper lip to show contempt; to sneer;

to pin something on someone - to fix blame or responsibility for something on someone;

the gutter - a poor or squalid background or environment; a channel at the side of a street for carrying off rainwater;

to bad-mouth - to criticize someone;

to go through the motions - to do something perfunctorily, without enthusiasm or commitment;

long-long - lost or absent for a long time.


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