Final Word from Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The summer political crisis involving the otherwise insignificant fringe figureLadislav Bátora is over for now, and Petr Nečas has won a temporary respite in thecontinuing effort to remove his as PM. Nečas isn't a very strong leader, which is aproblem unto itself, but that's only part of what is going on here. More pertinentare the deals he has scuttled or complicated. The latest is the social-card bonanza,which he is helping to devalue. Before that came the delay in the eco-tender and histhreat to resign if the deal is approved. And of course there was Promopro and theattempt to curtail (or at least change the direction of) the kickbacks at the defenseministry. It's worthy of a longer analysis, but the key question is how long a Czechprime minister can survive - no matter how forceful or charismatic he is - if he orhis retinue are not at the very center of the corruption activity in the country.

Glossary of difficult words

fringe - not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral or extreme;

respite - a short period of rest or relief from something difficult or unpleasant;

pertinent - relevant or applicable to a particular matter;

to scuttle - to deliberately cause (a scheme) to fail;

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

to curtail - to reduce in extent or quantity;

retinue - a group of advisers, assistants or others accompanying an important person.


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