Final Word from Monday, January 19, 2015

Czechs pay higher taxes overall than Germans, as we showed two weeks ago, but Interior Minister Milan Chovanec of ČSSD isn't satisfied. He wants to return to his party's campaign issue of a higher corporate tax rate and a sector tax on banks, unless Finance Minister Andrej Babiš can show by Aug. that his own tax-collection policies are working. Chovanec's stated goal, mind you, isn't to make the tax system more equitable for the little guy, but rather to raise even more tax revenue for an already bloated state budget. But why talk about this now, unless the real goal is instead to attack Babiš personally? Chovanec's bold challenge comes just as rumors are circulating in Prague that he, as interior minister, has been collecting dirt on Babiš. Chovanec seems to be announcing to Babiš that if he wants to wage a battle over control of the highway budget, Česká pošta and ČEZ, ČSSD is now ready to play hardball. [Czech Republic ŘSD construction transport ministry]

Glossary of difficult words

the little guy - the average person;

bloated - excessive in size or amount;

dirt - information about someone's activities that could prove damaging if revealed;

hardball - uncompromising and ruthless methods or dealings, esp. in politics.

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