Final Word from Thursday, March 24, 2016



Whenever someone talks about immorality or corruption in Czech society, esp. if a foreigner is the one doing it, someone else invariably interjects that much of the bad behavior was imported. It takes two to tango, as Václav Klaus and others like to remind us. Andrej Babiš looks at it from the opposite angle. For him, foreign experts - esp. those from the USA and UK - are the model of impeccability. They can turn the grey sky blue. When someone questions the origin of his original funds, he boasts about his loans from Citibank. To diminish his own conflicts of interest, he speaks in Parliament about Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump. To prove that Agrofert had nothing to do with Stork's Nest, he trots out audits by PwC. To show that the subsidy audit at the finance ministry in 2013 under Miroslav Kalousek was reliable, he notes that it was done by KPMG. When he needs to award no-bid contracts, he gives them to BDO IT or IBM. They aren't getting enough credit, but US and UK foot soldiers play key supporting roles in this film called "Saving Agent Bureš." [Czech Republic Saving Private Ryan United States U.S. United Kingdom]

Glossary of difficult words

Saving Agent Bureš - an allusion to "Saving Private Ryan";

Bureš - Babiš's secret-police cover name;

invariably - in every case or on every occasion; always;

impeccability - (of behavior, performance, or appearance) the state of being in accordance with the highest standards of propriety;

to trot out - to produce the same information, story, or explanation that has been produced many times before;

foot soldier - a person who carries out important work but does not have a role of authority in an organization or field.

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