Final Word from Thursday, June 23, 2011

In the Persian Empire, the Satraps (or governors) were requiredto send tax revenue to the emperor but had considerable discretionto choose whom to tax and how much to keep to covertheir own "expenses." During the reign of King Miroslav (asJiří Štický of MFD aptly christened the CR's de facto potentate),the satraps at the tax offices have the power to forgive vastamounts in penalties (Kč 31bn just in the area of state subsidies,as noted by HN). Under a law passed this week by Parliament,other satraps working for Miroslav will have the authority toapprove the "good causes" that receive billions of crowns eachyear from gambling companies. Thanks to a cabinet exemptionproposed by Miroslav, Arbitration Satrap Radek Šnábl will getto choose the legal team for lucrative solar lawsuits. You get thepicture? As long as the FAÚ financial-analytical unit stays inthe family at the ministry, no one but King Miroslav will haveany idea how much the satraps are keeping for their own expensesand how much is being kicked up to the emperor.

Glossary of difficult words

King Miroslav - the finance minister, Miroslav Kalousek;

discretion - the freedom to decide what to do in a particular situation;

apt - appropriate or suitable in the circumstances;

to christen - to give a person a name that reflects a notable quality or characteristic;

potentate - monarch or ruler, esp. an autocratic one;

to get the picture - to understand a situation;

to kick up - to pass to a higher level.


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