Final Word from Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Miloš Zeman said in Ukraine yesterday that the CR was once the industrial center of Europe and is striving to return to this position. He said he disagrees with those who shun industry and push services instead. As he was saying this, Amazon was confirming plans to build big warehouses in Prague and Brno for employing 4,000 permanent workers and 6,000 seasonal ones. Amazon is taking refuge in the CR because of laxer unionizing rules and increased criticism in Germany and elsewhere of its employment practices. (See this unflattering German film.) Amazon is also one of the leaders in tax avoidance within the EU, along with Google and Face­book. Czechs will be working at low wages for a local entity but will be fulfilling orders that are booked in Luxembourg, outside the reach of the Czech tax authorities. It might be the wave of the future, but Zeman is right that it's nothing to write home about. [Czech Republic Amazon EU S.a.r.L]

Glossary of difficult words

correction: it should be "the industrial center of Central Europe," not "Europe";

crappy - (mildly vulgar slang) of poor quality;

to shun something - to persistently avoid, ignore or reject something through antipathy or caution;

laxer - less strict or severe;

to unionize - to become or cause to become members of a labor union;

nothing to write home about - not something that is especially good or exciting; nothing to boast about.


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