Final Word from Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's popular to declare that the Czech anti-corruption machine has finally caught the first big fish in its net, but in the well- known jargon of Czech drug legislation, it's perhaps more accurate to say that Rath is a fish bigger than a small one. Rath's organization was rather small and rather unsophisticated, and the amount in question was also on the paltry side. Compare Rath's wine-box booty to the billions stolen (according to Radim Jančura) by Finance Min. Miroslav Kalousek in defense, highway- toll and IT contracts. Or to the hundreds of billions that were whisked away with the signatures of earlier finance ministers. Or to the transatlantic fraud involving unreported related-party transactions at ČEZ. Or even to the handling of the Roman Janoušek case, in which it appears that this little godfather enjoys greater immunity than an MP. Whether intentional or not, the Rath arrest gives the impression that something is happening on the anti-corruption front, while the big fish keep swimming freely in their gold-plated indoor pools.[Czech Republic minister parliament corruption]

Glossary of difficult words

paltry - meager, small;

booty - valuable stolen goods, esp. those seized in war;

to whisk - to take or move something or someone in a particular direction suddenly and quickly.


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