Final Word from Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Judging from his time in politics, Bohuslav Sobotka seems to have never had an original thought. On Facebook, we rated him as the third least-intelligent of the 12 Czech prime ministers. What he lacks in raw intelligence, though, he makes up for in political intelligence. He is keeping together a fragile coalition, has stifled dissent within ČSSD, and is exercising tremendous financial influence. He still has control over ČEZ (despite all the Palermo-bashing from Andrej Babiš), his proxies are in the driver's seat at Prague city hall, his people are working to make it easier to steal money in public procurement, and he is well on his way to handing the toll contract to his new godfather, Petr Kellner. Thanks to help from PPF and Radek Pokorný, he also has influence over Czech TV and Economia. Sobotka's house of cards will likely crumble, just as those of other Czech PMs did, but for now he is outmaneuvering both Babiš and Miloš Zeman. [Czech Republic Television HN media highway SkyToll]

Glossary of difficult words

raw - in its natural state;

to stifle - to prevent or constrain (an activity or idea);

bashing - severe criticism; violent physical assault;

Palermo - one of Babiš's words for the corruption in the public sector;

proxy - a person authorized to act on behalf of another;

in the driver's seat - in a position of control; in charge of things;

to crumble - to disintegrate gradually over a period of time;

to outmaneuver someone - to use skill and cunning to gain an advantage over someone.

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