Final Word from Monday, January 6, 2014

When we first referred to Miroslav Kalousek as Bohuslav Sobotka's "guardian angel," we explained that if Sobotka realizes his dream of becoming the PM, he will be beholden to Kalousek for helping to make it happen. It wasn't yet clear what Kalousek would expect in return, but Sobotka has now provided the first clue. In speaking to Deník, he praised TOP 09's decision not to act as the opposition at any cost, unlike ODS's zero-tolerance policy of 2002-2006, and said that in return he would like to include the opposition in long-term decisions. The opposition, he said, should also have an oversight role in terms of, say, central purchasing. The use of "Kalousek" and "central purchasing" in the same breath conjures up the dispute between Kalousek and Petr Nečas over the use of middlemen in defense contracts. It led to the Promopro scandal and to the departure of Alexandr Vondra as defense minister. Kalousek won that battle, but Andrej Babiš, the main champion of central purchasing, will no doubt prove to be a more formidable opponent. [Czech Republic ANO prime minister ČSSD]

Glossary of difficult words

beholden - owing thanks or having a duty to someone in return for help or a service;

zero tolerance - (in this context) refusal to accept or support any policy of the government, regardless of how reasonable it might be;

to conjure up - to call to mind;

champion - a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else;

formidable - inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense or capable.

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