Final Word from Thursday, March 17, 2016



The relationship between Miloš Zeman and Andrej Babiš might seem idyllic, but in fact Babiš has become a thorn in Zeman's side. Until the Stork's Nest scandal exploded, Zeman was well on his way to striking down Bohuslav Sobotka with his proverbial Kalashnikov. The approval rating of the Sobotka cabinet had fallen to at an all-time low of 37%, while Zeman's own rating had soared to 63%. Zeman was in his element, because Sobotka's pro-Merkel refugee policy gave him a perfect opportunity to criticize the EU while presenting himself as a protector of the very institutions he was condemning. Every harsh word about the EU also reflected badly on Sobotka's policies, and Zeman's voters rejoiced. This revelling has now been put on hold. And with the Chinese president arriving just days after the special Stork's Nest session in Parliament, Sobotka's camp will have even more time to regroup, because Zeman and Sobotka must pull together when the interests of Czech oligarchs are at stake. Stork's Nest isn't costing just Babiš; it's also throwing a wrench in Zeman's political plans. [Czech Republic farm subsidy Angela Germany Xi Jinping]

Glossary of difficult words

to have a beef with someone - to have a complaint or grievance with someone;

to be a thorn in someone's side - to be a source of continual annoyance or trouble;

to soar - to increase rapidly above the usual level;

to be in one's element - to be in one's natural environment;

to revel - to engage in lively and noisy festivities, esp. those which involve drinking and dancing;

to regroup - to reassemble into organized groups, typically after being attacked or defeated;

to throw a wrench in the works/plans - to do something that prevents the successful implementation of a plan.

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