Final Word from Thursday, January 8, 2015

George Soros, whose foundation played an important part in last year's events in Ukraine, told the Financial Times that the EU, IMF and other international institutions should marshal together €50bn in financial support for the country. However, Western nations are hesitant to give money without seeing evidence of reform. Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek said last month that Kiev must show that it is fighting corruption. Some Ukrainians wish this fight would start in Prague. If they want to renew their passports at the embassy, they're referred to outside intermediaries, who charge a fee to put all the documents "in order" and then presumably give a kickback to embassy officials. Czechs had a similar thing going in Lvov a few years ago, before Amb. to Ukraine Jaroslav Bašta resigned for health reasons. Zaorálek might not be able to do much on the ground in Ukraine, but the Ukrainian embassy is right in his backyard. [Czech Republic European Union International Monetary Fund ambassador consular section consulate Lviv Kyiv]

Glossary of difficult words

to marshal (together) - to organize or gather someone or something together;

kickback - a payment made to someone who has facilitated a transaction or appointment, esp. illicitly;

to have a thing (or something) going - to be involved in something particularly good or not entirely proper.

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