Final Word from Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Some optimists thought that the nomination of an attractive candidate by TOP 09 for Prague mayor (Zdeněk Tůma) would force Miroslav Kalousek to behave himself at the finance ministry at least until the municipal elections in Oct. Any hanky-panky at the ministry would reflect badly on a party promising in its Prague campaign to "cut off the mafia structures that are sucking the public dry." So much for the optimism. Kalousek appointed ex-Defense Minister Martin Barták this week as his deputy in charge of auditing EU funding and combatting money laundering. This is no simple sinecure. It's an extremely sensitive position, and Barták's conflicts of interest would immediately disqualify him in a more-developed country. (For example, defense-industry sources say that he is a beneficial owner of Alseda, which is now involved in an IT-tender scandal with O2.) Barták's hidden task at the ministry, whatever it might be, is apparently so important that it's worth risking TOP 09's chances in the Prague elections.[Czech Republic Alseda Data Telefónica O2 ČEZ Omnipol]

Glossary of difficult words

fox in (or guarding) the henhouse - an idiom meaning that a post is assigned to a person who is then in a position to exploit it for personal benefit;

hanky-panky - improper behavior;

"cut off the mafia structures" - said by František Laudát, TOP 09's Prague chairman;

sinecure - a position requiring little or no work but giving the holder status or financial benefit;

beneficial owner - the true owner of a company or share.


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word