Final Word from Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One of the surprises pulled out of the hat at the last minute by the coalition was a tax on still wine produced by large vineyards. It's a bit odd that Miroslav Kalousek would choose precisely this method to boost government revenue. True, there is an imbalance between beer and wine, given that beer is subject to an excise tax on its alcohol content and wine isn't. But the rumor is that Kalousek doesn't even consider wine to be alcohol. That's how he justified turning to grape when his doctor ordered him off the grain due to the gout. Last we heard he could down a bottle of good grape in 20 minutes. And perhaps this is what the new tax is all about. Kalousek is tired of all that "disgusting crap" being sold in cartoons (to use his term from an interview in Právo). A tax on the cheap stuff will clear the shelves for more of the good stuff, such as the grands crus he enjoys when he visits his Liechtenstein banker.[Czech Republic consumption taxation austerity package]

Glossary of difficult words

connoisseur - an expert judge in matters of taste;

to pull out of the hat - to propose something seemingly out of nowhere;

excise tax - a tax levied on certain goods and commodities produced, sold or consumed within a country;

grape - (in this context only) wine;

grain - (in this context only) grain-based alcohol;

gout - a disease characterized by painful inflammation of the joints, esp. of the feet and hands;

to down (food or drink) - to consume;

grand cru - a wine of the most superior grade.


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