Final Word from Tuesday, February 15, 2011

There's the old joke about the Czech who wanted his neighbor's cow to die because he didn't have a cow of his own. The funny but sad message was that envy can sometimes be destructive instead of constructive or motivational. In interview after interview, Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg is showing a similar logic. He defends his decision to dally in appointing an ambassador to the U.S. by saying that he was waiting for the U.S. to appoint its own envoy to Prague. The CR is its own master too, he said in Právo, and no one will tell it what to do. But surely Schwarzenberg understands that the job of a Czech ambassador is to support Czech interests, and that the lack of a mission chief in Washington serves to harm mainly these Czech interests, not those of the U.S. Unless, of course, Schwarzenberg thinks he is actually protecting Czech interests by dragging his feet in appointing Petr Gandalovič to the post. Is he perhaps trying to say that it's better to have no cow in the field than one that has warts or godfatheritis?

Glossary of difficult words

constructive - serving a useful purpose;

to dally - to act or move slowly;

to drag one's feet - to be deliberately slow or reluctant to act;

warts - a small, hard, benign growth on the skin, caused by a virus; an imperfection or flaw;

godfatheritis - (our invention) a disease resulting from one’s connection to "godfather" crime figures in Czech business and politics.


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