Final Word from Tuesday, March 31, 2015

With the American convoy under its belt, the Czech government can now turn to the next international matter at hand. Applications are due today for founding membership in the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is being spearheaded by China. Many people see this as a rival to U.S.-dominated international financial organizations, such as the Asian Development Bank and IMF. The U.K. and nine other EU countries have defied the U.S. to sign up for the new institution. Germany and Austria are among them, but not the Baltics, CR, Hungary, Poland or Slovakia. The Czech finance ministry informed us yesterday that the matter is under consideration but that no decision has been made so far. Russia sneaked in at the last minute and filed its application on Sat. At least from an optics standpoint, Russia's support for the bank raises the stakes for EU countries that haven't yet thrown in their hat. [Czech Republic United Kingdom UK European Union Italy France Sweden Spain Denmark Finland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands AIIB U.S. military equipment]

Glossary of difficult words

under one's belt - safely or satisfactorily achieved, experienced or acquired;

to spearhead - to lead (an attack or movement);

to defy - to openly resist or refuse to obey;

to sneak in - to enter or undertake a course of action without being perceived;

optics - the way an event or course of action is perceived by the public;

to throw in one's hat (into the ring) - to express willingness to take up a challenge.


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