Final Word from Monday, January 27, 2014

By our count, three Czech PMs have left office as a direct result of some sort of financial scandal (Václav Klaus, Stanislav Gross, Petr Nečas). What sets new PM Bohuslav Sobotka apart from these three, as well as from the other seven Czech PMs, is that a potential financial scandal is hanging over him before he takes office. The privatization of OKD coal mines has been in dispute for almost the entire time since Sobotka oversaw it as finance minister in 2004. It was one reason we started calling him "Suitcase" Sobotka. For the police investigation to get going now, after so many years, weakens Sobotka tremendously prior to the appointment of the new cabinet. In its lead headline today, MFD called it "Sobotka's bogeyman." Pavel Páral of Euro suggested in Dec. that the OKD case might even be reason for the Rusnok cabinet to stay in office longer than anyone expected. That risk has probably already passed, but Sobotka might want to learn from Petr Nečas's mistake and put an emergency plan in place for what to do if the police come knocking on his door. [Czech Republic prime minister NWR BXR mining]

Glossary of difficult words

to hang over someone - to threaten, be imminent, loom;

to get going - to start moving;

bogeyman - an imaginary evil spirit, referred to typically to frighten children.

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