Final Word from Monday, June 8, 2015



As part of the debate on amending the Constitution, Andrej Babiš is pushing the idea of allowing or requiring a minister to give up his seat in Parliament for the time he or she is in the cabinet. Babiš said he needs this so that he can do his work as minister. In Babiš's case, it would also resolve the problem of his conflicts of interest as an MP, but what about his conflicts as a minister? His tentacles are spreading so wide as industrialist, media mogul, lumberjack, pharma king and biofuel baron that sometimes not even he knows when to report a conflict before a cabinet vote. With more people of his ilk entering politics, perhaps the Constitution should also provide for replacing ministers who attain a certain level of conflict. It could be called the Babiš scale, similar to the Richter scale. Any minister above 6 would only have to declare when he doesn't have a conflict of interest. Anyone at 7 would have to be replaced. Babiš is at about 7.4. [Czech Republic Agrofert sliding mandate klouzavý mandát pharmaceuticals biofuel forestry]

Glossary of difficult words

tentacles - an insidious spread of influence and control;

lumberjack - a person who fells trees, cuts them into logs, or transports them to a sawmill;

ilk - a type of people or things similar to those already referred to.

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