Final Word from Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Could is possibly be that Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousekis intentionally driving the CR toward fiscal and economic crisisand civil unrest? How else can we explain Kalousek's adamantrefusal to prepare for an obvious downturn in the Czecheconomy next year? His 2012 budget still calls for 2.5% GDPgrowth, and his feeble excuse is that existing law requires thebudget to be based on the spring forecast. If he set his mindto it, he could change this faster than it takes to sip through athree-martini lunch. Kalousek is now warning of the need togo to Parliament in Feb. or March for a budget revision, butthat is 4-5 months - and tens of billions of crowns in additionaldeficits - from now. He's also hoping to raise VAT to 19-20%,when he should instead be working to lower it, as a way toprotect retail and manufacturing jobs. The CR has a relativelylow debt level of just under 40% of GDP, but Kalousek seemsto be doing his damnedest as part of his new pro-EU strategyto bring this up to the European average as quickly as possible.

Glossary of difficult words

unrest - a state of disturbance and agitation in a group of people, typically involving public demonstrations or disorder;

adamant - refusing to be persuaded to change one's mind;

feeble - failing to convince or impress;

three-martini lunch - a leisurely lunch where business issues are discussed;

to do one's damnedest - to do one's utmost;

European average - the average EU debt level last year was about 61% of GDP, on a non-weighted basis.

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