Final Word from Tuesday, September 6, 2011

For more than a decade, the two Václavs had a duopoly atthe top of Czech politics and played off against each otherpartly as a way to keep everyone else at a distance. A similarrelationship is developing between Václav Klaus and KarelSchwarzenberg. They might have different world views, andthey might despise each other, but they desperately need eachother. Schwarzenberg all but admitted as much in two recentinterviews. First, he told Týden that he would only run forpresident if he had to prevent some true misfortune. Then, onSun., he told OMV that his current dispute with Klaus isn'tabout foreign policy; Klaus is merely using the ongoing foreign-policy dispute to pave the way for his new political party.The "two old men of Czech politics" (as FAZ of Germany referredto them yesterday) need to create a bogeyman for settingthemselves apart from the rest of the crowd. But Klaus can'trun for president again, so at some point he'll have to bring athird person - his preferred candidate - into the ring too.

Glossary of difficult words

duopoly - a situation in which two suppliers dominate the market for a commodity or service; the Havel-Klaus duopoly was sometimes infringed upon by people like Josef Tošovský and Miloš Zeman;

to play someone off against someone else - to bring people into conflict or competition for one’s own advantage;

to despise someone - to feel contempt or deep repugnance for someone;

to pave the way - to create the circumstances to enable something to happen;

FAZ - Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (sorry, the article is from the print edition and is not on the internet);

bogeyman - an imaginary evil spirt.

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