Final Word from Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Miloš Zeman received 21.25% more votes than his second-round rival in the presidential election, but there is no denying that Karel Schwarzenberg's campaign headquarters did a fine job of measuring the mood of a large sector of society. One way it did this was by keeping a muzzle on Miroslav Kalousek. He was the invisible man for the final stretch of the campaign. But Schwarzenberg's Mirek is now back (just as is Zeman's), and the question is whether this will enhance the Schwarzenberg aura or dissipate it. Is it possible to say that TOP 09 has measured the mood of society correctly by suddenly pushing the EU fiscal compact so hard? How many of Schwarzenberg's 2.24m voters have even the faintest idea what the fiscal compact is? And how many care? Remember, STEM found that only 30% of Czechs now consider EU membership a good thing, compared to 23% who say it isn't and 47% who have a comme ci, comme ça attitude toward it. Maybe TOP 09 should keep the Schwarzenberg campaign team active a bit longer.[Czech Republic European Union pact]

Glossary of difficult words

to muzzle someone/put a muzzle on - to prevent a person from expressing his or her opinions freely;

stretch - a continuous period of time;

the two Mireks - Miroslav Kalousek and Miroslav Šlouf;

to enhance - to intensify, increase or further improve the quality, value or extent of;

aura - the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing or place;

to dissipate - to squander or fritter away;

STEM - to see the full results, type your email address into the appropriate space on the web page;

comme ci, comme ça - (French, but used in English) neither very good nor very bad; so-so.


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