Final Word from Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Slovak PM Iveta Radičová said yesterday in Bratislava in the presence of her Czech counterpart, Petr Nečas, that the first decisions of her cabinet relate to reviving government finances and the economy in the areas where the most money is being stolen. This means where there is corruption, clientelism, bribery and public procurement, she said. Here's where the first budget savings will be made, she stressed. Compare this to what Nečas said about ministers "starting with themselves" by lowering their own salaries, reducing their benefits, eliminating some committees in Parliament, etc. Much more interesting would be to hear how much theft each of them plans to eliminate. We propose that Czech journalists start all their interviews with Nečas's ministers by asking: "What is your estimate for the amount of money being stolen from your ministry. What steps did you take this week to reduce it?"

Glossary of difficult words

straight talk - simple, honest speaking;

clientelism - a social or administrative system that depends upon relationships of patronage, favoritism and self-interested exchange.


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