Final Word from Thursday, September 16, 2010

We hope it doesn't become a regular series, but a recap of Transport Minister Vít Bárta's achievements in office could be instructional. His first step was to put his ex-ABL people into key positions. Next, he started turning the financial screw at Czech Railways, which has implications for the unholy ČEZ-Škoda-DP alliance. Around the same time, ABL got some nice security work from ČEZ. Then Bárta took over the highway and railroad construction "rackets" from the appropriate underbosses. After meeting with Petr Kellner of PPF, Bárta's surrogate at the interior ministry started squeezing ČSOB regarding the Post Bank and was aided in this by the CNB. Forcing Renata Vesecká out, now a chief VV goal, would allow Bárta to put his stamp on the chief prosecutor's office too. Is Bárta in the early stages of a Putin-like centralization of power? And, with at least one oligarch already behind him, can he be stopped?[Czech Republic Poštovní spořitelna Škoda Holding Appian DP Praha Vladimir]

Glossary of difficult words

recap - a summary of what has been said or done; a recapitulation; 

to turn/tighten the screw - to put strong pressure on someone; 

racket - an illegal or dishonest scheme for obtaining money; 

underboss - a boss's deputy, esp. in a criminal organization; 

surrogate - a substitute, esp. a person deputizing for another in a specific role or office; 

to put one's stamp on something - to influence or leave an impression on something.

photos from and MD ČR.


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