Final Word from Monday, June 3, 2013

Petr Kubala is currently one of the most important Czechs you've never heard of. As director of Povodí Vltavy water-management company, he decides (along with others, including the good lord) whether land, cottages, houses, stores and offices in the Vltava basin will be flooded. When and if the floodgates of the dams are opened is of critical importance. So it was surprising to hear DP Praha transit company say late yesterday afternoon that it had decided to close metro stations without knowing the plans for opening the floodgates. The daily routine of hundreds of thousands of people was being interrupted, but two of the key institutions involved had not communicated among themselves! Speaking on Czech TV a few minutes later, PM Petr Nečas dodged the question of whether the floodgates couldn't have been opened sooner to mitigate the flooding. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: How can we expect our leaders to act responsibly in times of crisis when we can't expect it from them in times of peace?[Czech Republic Prague Moldau flooding s.p. river]

Glossary of difficult words

the good lord - God;

floodgate - a gate or sluice that can be opened or closed to admit or exclude water;

basin - the tract of country that is drained by a river and its tributaries;

to dodge a question - to avoid answering a question in a satisfactory way;

to mitigate - to make less severe, serious or painful.

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