Final Word from Thursday, January 28, 2016

In the "tunneling" of OKD, Zdeněk Bakala and his partners extracted perhaps as much as Kč 100bn from the company, cloaked the dirty deed in the aura of Václav Havel, and watched idly by as the rump companies rotted. This behavior had a moral and existential effect on Bakala's other businesses. A false morality came to dominate at Bakala's print publications that can best be summed up as "Havel good, Klaus bad," ignoring the fact that Bakala was far more a product of Klaus than of Havel. No one expects Respekt to be much more than a cult magazine that caters to a select group of like-minded people, but a business newspaper can't work this way, unless of course that "cult" is made up of business-minded people. Few businesspeople want to start every day with a do-good "Humanitární noviny" that exudes Bakala-like hypocrisy. Unlike in the case of OKD, though, it's still not too late to reverse the tunneling of Hospodářské noviny. [Czech Republic NWR Economia]

Glossary of difficult words

to tunnel - a common Czech expression for asset-stripping;

to extract - to remove or take out, esp. by effort or force;

to cloak - to hide, conceal or disguise;

aura - the distinctive atmosphere or quality that seems to surround and be generated by a person, thing, or place;

to watch by - to follow, keep watch;

rump - a small or unimportant remnant of something originally larger;

to cater to/for - to serve or provide for; to meet the needs of;

do-good - designed or disposed, sometimes impracticably and too zealously, toward bettering the conditions under which others live;

to exude - to give off or discharge.

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