Final Word from Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Honesty in Czech society is a relative term. A person's moral outrage at the behavior of others is usually inversely proportional to his or her own benefit from the immoral or illegal behavior. Anyone with insight into how Czech business and politics works knew that Andrej Babiš couldn't have become the second-richest Czech citizen without cutting some really big ethical corners, yet businesspeople, anti-corruption agencies, journalists, think tanks, diplomats and, of course, other politicians lined up to support him. Nothing has changed in terms of Babiš's behavior. He still acts 100% in the interest of Babiš, although his ability to coopt government institutions to aid him in this has grown immensely. As the details of a piddling Kč 50m subsidy fraud come out, some of the same individuals who lined up to share in his glow are now turning their back on him. Enough is enough, they are saying. Some of them are now migrating to ČSSD, where politicians are more skilled at the use of anonymous companies and where the perception of morality is momentarily higher. [Czech Republic Stork's Nest farm]

Glossary of difficult words

outrage - an extremely strong reaction of anger, shock, or indignation;

inversely proportional - related so that as one becomes larger, the other becomes smaller;

insight - the capacity to gain an accurate and deep intuitive understanding of a person or thing;

to cut corners - to do something in the fastest or cheapest way;

piddling - pathetically trivial.

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