Final Word from Monday, March 31, 2014

One reason Czechs can't decide if Andrej Babiš is still a businessman is that they haven't even agreed on a proper word for "businessman." PM Bohuslav Sobotka said that Babiš needs to choose whether he wants to be a podnikatel or a politician. The old joke about the French not having a word for "entrepreneurship" applies here. A podnikatel is technically an entrepreneur, similar to živnostník, but it's also used at times to refer to someone like Babiš who eats entrepreneurs for breakfast. Babiš would be a velkopodnikatel, but that word only works for a small number of byznysmeni. Nor does the word obchodník do the trick, because it can mean almost anything. Babiš can easily get off the hook by saying he's not a podnikatel, but the real question in his case is whether he's a hands-on owner who is still running Agrofert by mobile phone and SMS. And only the NSA can give us a definitive answer to that question. [Czech Republic micromanagement micromanager micro-manager]

Glossary of difficult words

to eat someone for breakfast - to deal with someone easily and completely;

to do the trick - to achieve the required result;

to get off the hook - to get out of difficulty or trouble;

hands-on owner - an owner who is actively and personally involved in running a business.

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