Final Word from Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ask careful observers of Czech politics the naive question of whose side Defense Minister Alexandr Vondra is on (whether Havel's, Klaus's, Nečas's, Topolánek's, ČEZ's, Kalousek's or perhaps the U.S.'s) and you'll often hear, "Vondra's of course." He's a master of getting close to people of power, sticking by them for as long as it benefits him, and switching sides when the time is right. Just ask Havel or Topolánek. HN finally wrote today what has been whispered for a few weeks, namely that Vondra and Nečas are on the outs. The first sign came when the audit at the defense ministry found only a few misdemeanors and no real crimes, although Vondra had been a harsh critic of the system built there by Miroslav Kalousek. Vondra's latest shift will likely become clear to all when he backs Kalousek's plan for the large eco-tender, which Nečas has said emphatically will not go forward on his watch.[Czech Republic Václav Petr Mirek United States of America Hospodářské noviny environmental cleanup clean-up]

Glossary of difficult words

allegiance - loyalty or commitment of a subordinate to a superior or of an individual to a group or cause;

to stick by someone - to continue to support or be loyal to someone;

to be on the outs - to be in disagreement or dispute;

misdemeanor - a minor wrongdoing;

emphatically - in a forceful way;

on someone's watch - while the person in question has the responsibility.


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