Final Word from Tuesday, May 31, 2011

For a very small group of Czechs, Germany's decision to pull out of nuclear powerby the end of 2022 might be good news, but for everyone else it's another blow to thepocketbook. It will mean not only higher electricity rates for Czech households andbusinesses, but also tighter margins for local manufacturers dependent on Germancustomers trying to offset their own higher production costs. Think of all the billionsof euros that have been sunk into those German nuclear plants and the billionsmore that will be needed for decommissioning them! With so much wanton destructionof value, someone is going to have to pay big time. Czechs aren't so surprised ifAleš Hušák spends Kč 20bn on an arena worth Kč 2bn, but Europeans have come toexpect more from the Germans. Regardless of the safety aspect, Germany's nuclearwithdrawal is a letdown for a Europe in need of a model of fiscal responsibility.

Glossary of difficult words

pocketbook - one's financial resources; (also a woman's handbag);

tighter margin - a smaller level of gross profit;

to offset - to counteract something by having an opposing force or effect;

to sink (money into something) - to put (money into something), often without the desired return;

to decommission - to take out of service; (of a nuclear reactor or weapon) to make inoperative, dismantle and decontaminate in order to render safe;

wanton - arbitrary, groundless; deliberate and unprovoked;

big time - on a large scale;

letdown - a setback; a disappointment.


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