Final Word from Thursday, March 14, 2013

Václav Havel's 13 years at the Castle began with the unanimous support of the Communist-era Federal Assembly in 1989. It was during the Havel period of the existence of this country that much of the groundwork was laid for what continues today. Jan Stráský, who was the last PM of the federal state, told Jindřich Šídlo of HN that the government knew back then that the only way to catch up with Germany and the U.S. was for the banks to lend money that would never be repaid. It was an intentional decision, he said. This allowed CEO Richard Salzmann of Komerční banka to say later that he never received a call from a politician telling him what to do - because he already knew what was to be done. As president, Havel occasionally spoke out against what was happening. So yes, in a sense he was a moral authority. But shouldn't moral authorities also be judged by their success in creating a moral society? In this sense, Havel served more as a cover for what was happening than as someone who had a positive effect on society.

Glossary of difficult words

groundwork - preliminary or basic work;

cover - front, facade, disguise.

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