Final Word from Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Prof. Martin Potůček, a long-time ČSSD adviser and chairman of the new pension-reform commission, blamed the partisan Czech governments of the past for the "obsolescence" of the pension system. The political parties operated on an ideological basis, he said on Czech Radio, and weren't willing to compromise. In addition, he said, tens or hundreds of billions of crowns from privatization that could be used now for pension reform got lost and in many cases just "fizzled out." What he meant isn't entirely clear. He could have in mind the misallocation by governments of privatization proceeds; he could mean the "transformational costs" in general; or he might have in mind the way many Czech billionaires made their money. In any event, it sounds like another ideological approach to pension reform that will be very attractive to those like Lubomír Zaorálek who want ČSSD to make social inequality its main topic again. [Czech Republic funds]

Glossary of difficult words

Correction: The text above has been corrected from "hundreds of billions" to "maybe a hundred billion."

obsolescence - the state of being out of date or outmoded;

to fizzle out - to wither away, die off, or wind down; to lose its fizz;

misallocation - to allocate or distribute in a mistaken or improper way.

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