Final Word from Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Truck drivers protested in Moscow last week against a new national highway toll. Not only the roadblock itself was unusual, but also the way the drivers directed their ire at Igor Rotenberg, the Putinite who was awarded the GPS-based toll contract. He was given a license to print money. Czech companies might take note for when Petr Kellner is granted the toll concession in a few years. In the meantime, company owners can direct their ire at Andrej Babiš. His new invoice-matching system is potentially an even larger printing press. Under the new system, companies will be required for the first time to send their customer lists to the tax authority. No one will be the wiser if an analyst copies a company's trade secrets and sells them. No one will be the wiser if a corporate raider then uses the information to steal a company Russian-style. Corporate bosses aren't very disposed toward civil disobedience. If they decide to make an exception this time, they have 80 days to do so. The first return is due on Feb. 25, and one filing is all it takes to expose corporate secrets forever. [Czech Republic VAT Vladimir Putin SkyToll]

Glossary of difficult words

ire - anger, outrage;

concession - the right to use land or other property for a specified purpose, granted by a government, company, or other controlling body;

invoice-matching system - in Czech, kontrolní hlášení DPH;

to be none (or not any) the wiser - not to be aware of something; to know no more than before;

disposed to/toward - inclined or willing;

civil disobedience - the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest;

return - an official report or statement submitted in response to a formal demand;

filing - the submission of (a legal document, application, or charge) to be placed on record by the appropriate authority.

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