Final Word from Monday, December 29, 2014

In his Christmas address on Fri., Miloš Zeman reserved his strongest criticism for the "Neanderthals" who raised their voices to him on Nov. 17. It didn't take much analysis to figure out this message, but less obvious was Zeman's criticism of Andrej Babiš. First, Zeman went out of his way to emphasize that he had to ignore past practice in appointing the Sobotka cabinet, because Babiš didn't have a clean lustration report. Second, he said he wants the origin-of-assets law to go back into the past as far as possible. This puts Babiš in the position of having a huge conflict of interest as the drafter and enforcer of the law, because it's still unclear where he got the money to take full control of Agrofert in 2003. Without "deep" retroactivity, the origin of Babiš's assets wouldn't be such an issue. Perhaps Zeman didn't mean it this way at all, but if he did, it could be a sign that he is going to put up a real fight before ceding the Castle to Babiš. [Czech Republic presidential elections speech]

Glossary of difficult words

to go out of one's way - to make a special effort to do something;

to cede - to give up (power or territory).

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