Final Word from Thursday, January 15, 2015

Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka has a curious way of governing: He takes a firm position on something, and then a few weeks or months later, he completely reverses himself. He did it with his anti-Havelian foreign policy before he went to the U.S., and now he has done it with his policy of not accepting Syrian refugees. Surprisingly, he gets away with it, because people have come to expect him to be utterly spineless. Nor does it bother his main coalition partner, ANO, because Andrej Babiš uses the same kind of strategy. What he says today might morph into the exact opposite tomorrow. ČSSD and ANO initially do the populist thing (reject Muslim refugees, for example), and then under international pressure, they fall into line and adopt a policy that we would have expected all along from a center-left government. How strange that it took Syrian refugees to tell us who is on the Left and who is on the Right of Czech politics. [Czech Republic United States asylum immigration immigrants]

Glossary of difficult words

to get away with something - to escape blame, punishment or undesirable consequences (for an act that is wrong or mistaken);

spineless - lacking resolution; weak and purposeless;

to morph into something else - to change from one thing into another;

to fall into/in line - to conform; to behave in a way similar to someone else.

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