Final Word from Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Amidst the rubble of the Prague elections, and with the continuing European financial mess smoldering in the background, two distinct political tendencies are becoming visible in Prague. First is the Newtonian inertia towards a grand coalition on the national level, which could benefit four of the Five Families (Zdeněk Bakala and his acolytes excluded). Second is an effort by the country's largest financial groups to use the 118-seat center-right coalition government to push through pension and healthcare reform that will secure them billions. Vít Bárta and Miroslav Kalousek are becoming the unofficial spokesmen for this purpose-driven reform movement. Which tendency prevails will depend in part on what happens in the eurozone, but for some of the chief players involved, it's six of one and half a dozen of the other. Which means that either tendency potentially spells trouble for almost everyone else.[Czech Republic ODS-ČSSD VV TOP 09]

Glossary of difficult words

heads they win, tails you lose - meaning that you lose either way;

amidst/amid - in an atmosphere or against a background of;

to smolder - to burn slowly with smoke but no flame;

inertia - a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless the state is changed by an external force;

acolyte - an assistant or follower;

purpose-driven - driven or inspired by a goal or purpose;

six of one and half a dozen of the other - meaning that there is little real difference between two alternatives;

to spell - to signal or mean.


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