Final Word from Monday, December 9, 2013

One by one, Miloš Zeman's army of experts, mercenaries and bootlickers have fallen like tin soldiers. Either they've been written off by voters, by Zeman himself, or by both. The most visible recent casualty was Interior Minister Martin Pecina, who received a public dressing-down from Zeman for trying to reappoint Petr Lessy as police president. Even PM Jiří Rusnok is now damaged goods, having been caught on a live mic saying he dreads the idea of attending Nelson Mandela's funeral. Aside from the three outgoing ministers who received praise from Zeman last night on Czech Radio (Miroslav Toman, Jiří Cienciala, František Lukl), almost the only ally that Zeman can still rely on is Hynek Kmoníček, who heads his foreign department. He's willing to take a bullet for the president. At this point, it would almost be an act of compassion if the budding coalition agreed to yield the foreign-minister post to him. [Czech Republic Castle premier prime minister South Africa SPOZ]

Glossary of difficult words

bootlicker - an obsequious or overly deferential person; sycophant;

tin soldier - a toy soldier made of metal;

casualty - a person killed in a war or accident;

dressing-down - a severe reprimand;

mic - microphone;

to dread - to anticipate with great apprehension or fear;

to take a bullet for someone - to be so loyal as to be willing to purposely receive a bullet for the subject of one's loyalty;

budding - just beginning and showing promising signs of continuing.

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