Final Word from Friday, August 19, 2011

The Western world is falling apart, and people everywhere are revising old assumptionsand grandiose plans for the future. But not the Czech finance ministry, whichstill expects domestic GDP to rise by 2.5% this year, 2.5% next year, 3.3% in 2013 and3.9% in 2014. Not to be outdone, the Czech National Bank is forecasting GDP growthof 2.1% this year, 2.2% next year and 3.8% in 2013. Health Minister Leoš Heger is expectingto raise Kč 2bn more in health tax next year. What are these people smoking?They might get lucky this year, but the chances seem pretty good that next year willbe a slaughter. At best, forecasts for 2012 should probably be based on 0% growth,and a more-conservative figure is a 10% contraction. It's time for the CR's top economicbrass, esp. Mr. 9.1 Miroslav Kalousek, to put their jobs on the line: If their2012-13 forecasts seriously miss the mark, they should leave public office forever.

Glossary of difficult words

to put one's neck/head on the block - to take great risk, to make oneself vulnerable; used here to mean that the people in question are already taking great risk but should admit it by putting their heads on the block;

grandiose - excessively grand or ambitious;

what is he smoking? - what drugs is the person taking to cause him to act in such a way?;

slaughter - a massacre; a bloody situation;

contraction - a reduction in the size of the economy;

top brass - people in authority.


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