Final Word from Monday, November 7, 2011

Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek wants to delay the effectivedate of certain pension- and tax-reform measures by ayear, until 2014, yet no one seems to understand why he hassuddenly shifted his position. One theory is that it is the costof winning final approval for church restitution. (The sametheory has been used to explain why he dropped the eco-tender,but Petr Nečas said Kalousek gave up on the tender whenhe counted the votes on the cabinet level.) Another theory isthat Kalousek wants to gain access to two years of higher VATreceipts before the VAT money has to be put toward pensionreform, but he denied this, saying that he can guarantee thatall extra VAT revenue will be used for pension reform. Whateverthe real reason, and no matter how much Kalousek triesto put a brave face on it, his shift on the effective date of thereforms can be read as another defeat for him. There was atime not so long ago when it seemed that Kalousek was maneuveringto replace Nečas as PM, but those days are gone.

Glossary of difficult words

effective date - used here to mean when the changes take force, not when they become etched in law;

receipts - proceeds, revenue;

to put a brave/good face on something - to try to hide disappointment or fear with relationship to an event;

to maneuver - to carefully manipulate a situation to achieve an end.

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