Final Word from Thursday, December 18, 2014

Miroslav Kalousek, the informal leader of the new improved anti-Babiš coalition, told Týden that it is Andrej Babiš who is running the country, coalition or no coalition. This is an exaggeration, of course, but it lends credence to the idea that Babiš is the fifth most politically powerful billionaire in the world. He's a rare breed. He basically answers to no one, which sets him apart from other politicians and businesspeople. Nearly everyone answers to someone. To a boss, to a board, to shareholders, to a regulator. Politicians have party members and leaders. Babiš has virtually none of this. No real party base, no ANO vice chairmen, no Agrofert shareholders (at least not officially), no securities regulator. He does have bankers, but how tough are they going to be on the finance minister? Who else in the world has such a privileged position? Even Kim Jong-un has the Communist Party. Well, okay, there is Putin. [Czech Republic Vladimír Brookings Institute owner operator]

Glossary of difficult words

to lend credence - to provide plausibility; to seemingly increase the likelihood of something being true;

breed - a sort or kind of person or thing.

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