Final Word from Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It isn't clear who owns 48% of Kapsch's lucrative Czech toll business. When we suggested that Miroslav Kalousek might have his hands in the kitty, Kapsch's PR agent sent us a friendly reply saying that people have been making such claims for years. Yet when we asked for the beneficial owners, he went silent. Similar questions exist about the owners of SkyToll CZ, which wants to supplant Kapsch as the toll collector. A professionally prepared Wikipedia entry that has Kapsch's fingerprints all over it states that "many people in Czech business, including the most influential billionaires, claim that Petr Kellner has the main say in SkyToll, both Slovak and Czech." In today's Právo, Kapsch GM Karel Feix says that SkyToll has operating costs in Slovakia of more than 50% of the toll collections, compared to Kapsch's 20%. Czechs will soon have to ask who is the lesser evil: A well-connected Austrian with close ties to a few Czech politicians, or a Russian-style oligarch who is digging his claws deeper and deeper into many facets of Czech business and society. [Czech Republic Slovakia highway]

Glossary of difficult words

hands in the kitty - a person with his hands in the kitty is someone who is taking money that is destined for someone else;

to supplant - to supersede and replace;

say - an opportunity to influence developments and policy;

facet - one side of something many-side.


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