Final Word from Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The loose anti-ČEZ coalition has seen better days. The Greens were turned to pulp in the elections; talk of reining in energy rates died with Jiří Paroubek; Czech Coal's mining expansion was stifled by the new pro-ČEZ coalition; TOP 09 figured out which side its bread is buttered on; and most of the media decided to fight easier battles. One partial anti-ČEZ victory was won last week when the EU Commission asked the CR and 19 other EU states to implement single-market rules for gas and electricity. The essence of the EU complaint is that there is no truly competitive electricity-trading market in the CR, which is something Jan Ondřich of Candole Partners advisory firm had argued in LN and ČEZ Unplugged. Regulators should look at ČEZ as a giant on a tiny market and not as a speck on the EU market, Ondřich argues. Regardless of whether Candole is working on commission for a ČEZ competitor or for the EU Commission directly, the fact that someone in Brussels is listening gives the anti-ČEZ coalition a small ray of hope.[Czech Republic European Union Lidové noviny natural gas]

Glossary of difficult words

has seen better days - is in a bad condition;

to rein in - to bring under control;

to stifle - to prevent or constrain an activity or idea;

which side its bread is buttered on - where its self-interest lies;

speck - a tiny spot.


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