Final Word from Tuesday, April 12, 2016

"You don't have Bakala to kick around any more," is what the former owner of NWR could have said to Andrej Babiš in Nixon style after transferring his ownership stake in the mining company to Ad Hoc Group, but in fact Zdeněk Bakala didn't say anything. He just let his actions speak for themselves. Bakala's departure from NWR (if he really did leave, of course) has taken some of the wind out of Babiš's sails. Babiš had returned again and again to the theme of Bakala the bad billionaire who sucked Kč 100bn out of NWR/OKD and then washed his hands of it. Why would Bohuslav Sobotka, who was responsible for the bad privatization in the first place, want to pour another billion into Bakala's company, Babiš used to ask? Now that Bakala is gone, though, Babiš has the chance to become the good billionaire. He can do one of his classic about-faces and start supporting a state bailout in one form or another. Bakala might have brought OKD to its knees, but Babiš will give it a new lease on life. Just in time for the regional elections, and with government money to boot. [Czech Republic Richard New World Resources coal mines]

Glossary of difficult words

to take the wind out of someone's sails - to frustrate someone by unexpectedly anticipating an action or remark;

about-face - a complete change of opinion or policy;

new lease on life - a substantially improved chance to lead a happy or successful life;

to boot - as well; in addition.


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