Final Word from Friday, March 25, 2011

MP Michal Babák of Ver y Versat ile told Týden that VV wanted bread and water to be the key items kept in the 10% VAT bracket, because that's what people in the Middle Ages had for staying alive. Alas, the idea was scrapped in the political horse-trading, and now everything in the 10% bracket will rise to 14% next year and to 17.5% in 2013, including both bottled and tap water. Water was a survival issue in the Middle Ages, but now it's one of the items in the CR with the steepest price increases, even without the VAT hike. Veolia, the highly profitable market leader, needs to improve its image, so it's launched a campaign to raise money to build wells in Ethiopia. No joke. Czechs who are being skinned alive by price hikes (to quote Blesk) are supposed to help dig wells in Ethiopia. Instead of Water for Africa, how about reasonably priced Water for Bohemia, Moravia and Silesia? Now that would be a novel idea.

Glossary of difficult words

Very Versatile - our tongue-in-cheek nickname for VV (Public Affairs), because of how quickly it changes its political positions;

to scrap - to abolish, cancel or give up something that is no longer considered necessary or useful;

tap water - drinking water from the water faucet;

steep - (of a price or demand) not reasonable; excessive;

well - a shaft sunk into the ground to obtain water, oil or gas;

no joke - an idiom meaning it is a serious matter;

to skin someone alive - to punish someone severely;

novel - new or unusual in an interesting way.


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