Final Word from Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just like in "Good Bye, Lenin!," Czechs will soon wake up in retro-Communism,thanks to Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek's pension reform. Store shelves willbecome bare again of any nonessential food items, because the masses won't be ableto afford anything but the staples. Forget the frozen pizza, because meals of pork,dumplings and sauerkraut will again become the norm. Bananas will have a dejavu as an exotic product in limited supply. International brand names will nearlydisappear, except in member-only Tuzex stores reserved for the super-rich. WhenAlexandr Vondra recently attacked Kalousek for sitting in a collaborationist NationalFront party while he, Vondra, was sitting in prison, he was onto something.Maybe it's nostalgia for the old regime - and for the supreme position of power andprivilege of those at the top - that is guiding Kalousek's pension-reform efforts.

Glossary of difficult words

retro- - imitation of a style, fashion or design from the recent past;

bare - empty; without the appropriate or usual contents;

staple - a main or important element of something, esp. a diet (such as bread and milk);

to be onto something - to have an idea or information that is likely to lead to an important discovery.


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