Final Word from Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The finance minister stood up yesterday and declared, "My name is Miroslav Kalousek, and I am a deficit addict. It's been a month since I had my last fix. I admit that I am powerless over deficits and that our lives have become unmanageable because of it." He and his deceased Deficits Anonymous colleague, Eduard Janota, are responsible for raising the national debt by Kč 720bn, according to Jiří Paroubek (who is still livid that he didn't have more time to run up bigger deficits of his own). After finessing a 2011 deficit of Kč 142.8bn in a year of economic growth, Kalousek announced a 12-point plan for really getting serious this time. Instead of seeming sincere, though, he sounded like an alcoholic who promises to cut back to just five drinks per day. Next year's deficit will be "only" Kč 100bn, he vowed. "A cabinet that promises budget abstinence but that can't stay on the wagon doesn't deserve to exist," he told ČT. Could it be that this is what it's all about - falling off the wagon (again) and bringing down the government this time?[Czech Republic Alcoholics drug responsibility]

Glossary of difficult words

fix - a dose of a narcotic drug to which one is addicted; 

"I admit that I am powerless..." - a spoof on the Twelve-Step Program of Alcoholics Anonymous; 

livid - furiously angry; 

to finesse something - to do something in a subtle and delicate manner; 

abstinence - the fact or practice of restraining oneself from indulging in something, typically alcohol; 

to stay on the wagon - to remain abstinent; to continue not to drink; 

to fall off the wagon - to begin drinking after a period of abstinence.

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