Final Word from Friday, October 8, 2010

The media jumped on the case of Miroslav Poche, who let slip to HN that he returned some of the money to ČSSD that he earned on the supervisory board of PRE utility, but reporters are dancing around the real issue. Whether tax laws were broken is a relatively minor matter. The real question is whether political parties - and not just ČSSD - are naming people to key posts in business with the expectation of kickbacks. If so, this is institutionalized corruption, of which possible tax evasion is just one element. We wrote about this phenomenon two years ago in "Pass the hat for poor Martin." Since then, the attractiveness of working at ČEZ has declined, which could help explain why its M&A chief, Vladimír Schmalz, is running in the Prague elections. There are rumors that ČEZ's foreign activities have made him richer than poor Martin ... but that he hasn't been remembering his political protectors enough.[Czech Republic Hospodářské noviny mergers & acquisitions Roman Pražská energetika Prague energy electricity]

Glossary of difficult words

no free lunch - there is no such thing as a free lunch, meaning that it is not possible to get something for nothing;

to let something slip - to reveal something inadvertently in the course of a conversation;

to dance around an issue - to avoid addressing an issue directly;

kickback - a payment made to someone who has facilitated a transaction or an appointment, esp. illicitly.


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