Final Word from Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Miloš Zeman wasn't the first politician to tout economic diplomacy. Hillary Clinton called it "commercial diplomacy" or "economic statecraft." In a new book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich, Peter Schweizer gives examples of how Hillary reversed her policies around the time Bill made high-priced speeches in the countries in question or their foundation received big donations. Schweizer indicates that Clinton put her economic statecraft to work when it benefited her family. The public doesn't know what the key is to receiving Zeman's blessing for business deals. We know that he helped PPF and J&T in China and PSG (and perhaps PPF) in his meeting on Sat. with Putin, but we don't know if the president of Vietnam was received at the Castle this week mainly as a way to get someone out of an economic pickle. So far, at least, it seems more probable that Zeman, like Hillary, exercises economic diplomacy for the benefit of a handful of cronies and sponsors than for the state. [Czech Republic statesmanship secretary of state United States U.S. Vladimir Russia]

Glossary of difficult words

crony - a close associate in business; a close friend or companion;

to tout - to attempt to persuade people of the merits of;

statecraft - the skillful management of state affairs; statesmanship;

pickle - a difficult or messy situation.

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