Final Word from Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To equate refusing one loan to the IMF with exiting from Europe is ridiculous on onelevel. The CR has such a bad reputation within the EU that one more scar wouldn'tbe fatal. However, from the viewpoint of Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek, thecomparison makes political sense. His brand of politics is at risk. Almost everythinghe represents - poor financial management and forecasting, crony capitalism, reformsthat benefit a select few - are coming under increasing attack. By creating a domesticdemon of Václav Klaus and his predilection for Russia, Kalousek will consolidate thepro-EU vote on the right (leaving that on the left to ČSSD) and win kudos from theEU itself. Kalousek is playing classic disaster politics of the kind Merkel and Sarkozyhave become experts at. But that doesn't mean he isn't right when he suggests onCzech Radio that Klaus wants the CR to be Russia's aircraft carrier in Central Europe.

Glossary of difficult words

to equate - to consider one thing to be the same as or equivalent to another;

crony capitalism - a system in which success in business depends on close relationships between individuals and government officials;

predilection - a bias in favor of something;

kudos - praise and honor received for an achievement;

disaster politics - (in this context) the practice of invoking the threat of disaster to push through policies that otherwise would not be possible.

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