Final Word from Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Like Respekt magazine this week, we'll swallow our pride and apologize to Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek. Not, as Respekt did, for calling him the force between the "Háva" law on defense intermediaries. Not even for calling him a lush who talks a bit like a gangster. No, our apology is for doubting his commitment to cutting the budget deficit. We nicknamed his party TOP 9.1 because of the 9.1-point difference between his 2009 GDP forecast and the real figures, which produced a record budget deficit. However, the new nickname could perhaps be LOP 10, because Kalousek wants to chop more than 10% off the approved 2010 budget figures in producing the 2011 budget. It would be the first time in at least a decade that both budgeted spending and revenue fell from one year to the next. During that period, spending doubled. Kalousek now wants to reverse the trend. We doff our hat to him, while fully realizing that his budget is only a proposal and will probably be transfigured beyond recognition before becoming reality.[Czech Republic TOP 09 approved]

Glossary of difficult words

to lop - to remove, cut off, trim; 

"Háva" law - one of the nicknames for the 1994 law that requires intermediaries, such as Richard Háva's Omnipol, to handle defense purchases; 

lush - a heavy drinker, esp. a habitual one; 

budget - the approved 2010 budget calls for revenue of Kč 1.02 trillion and spending of Kč 1.19 trillion; the proposed 2011 budget calls for revenue of Kč 917.1bn and spending of Kč 1.05 trillion; 

to doff - to tip (one's hat) as a greeting or token of respect; 

to transfigure - to change.


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