Final Word from Thursday, August 25, 2011

TOP 09 and the labor ministry are in a big rush to award a monopoly for issuing"social cards" that will eventually control the disbursement of 40% of the Czech statebudget. In terms of the significance and scope of this deal, Kapsch's e-toll contractand Haguess's Opencard jackpot are rather minor affairs. The winning bank willbe in a position to sell new add-on services to the ministry (such as pension payouts)and to take customers away from other banks. An apt comparison might beto ČSOB's takeover of IPB. It's interesting, then, that only ČSOB and 1-2 other bankseven qualify to apply. ČSOB is taking no chances and has put people with Haguessexperience (Ladislav Szathmári) and labor-ministry connections (Pavel Kolář) feverishlyto work on the matter. Let's hope that once ČSOB wins, there isn't the kind of"looting" that TOP 09's own Miroslav Kalousek warned about in the case of IPB.

Glossary of difficult words

bonanza - a situation that creates a sudden increase in wealth, good fortune or profits;

disbursement - the payout or dispensing of money;

feverishly - in an energetic and excited way;

to loot - to plunder; to steal goods from a place, typically during a war or riot,


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