Final Word from Thursday, August 27, 2015

Zdeněk Bakala is a dead horse, with his reputation in tatters and his last Czech assets being sold off at knock-down prices. How long can politicians keep beating him? A long time, it seems. Andrej Babiš is getting mileage this week out of criticizing the cabinet's decision to buy land from Bakala for an industrial zone, even if Babiš himself voted for the purchase. Miloš Zeman, for his part, met with Pavol Krúpa of Arca Capital, who has invested Kč 30m in a greenmail attack on Bakala and Bohuslav Sobotka. Zeman's spokesman said after the meeting at the Castle that Zeman expressed support for Krúpa in his effort to help the tenants of the OKD apartments. The question is to what degree Zeman supports Krúpa's efforts. In a letter to Sobotka, Krúpa said Sobotka should resign as PM if he doesn't take action in the OKD matter. By supporting Krúpa, was Zeman joining him in issuing an ultimatum to Sobotka? That's one way to read it. [Czech Republic NWR RPG Byty]

Glossary of difficult words

to beat a dead horse - to waste energy on a lost cause or unalterable situation;

in tatters - destroyed; ruined;

knock-down - (of a price) very low;

to get mileage out of something - to get a return from time, energy or money expended on an activity;

greenmail - the practice of buying enough shares in a company to threaten a takeover, forcing the owners to buy them back at a higher price to retain control.

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