Final Word from Thursday, June 16, 2016



Bohuslav Sobotka risks playing second fiddle in China this week to Angela Merkel. He arrived in Beijing for a four-day visit just as she was leaving. On her second day, she came out strongly in favor of awarding Market Economy Status to China. Sobotka will now be under huge pressure from his Chinese hosts to repeat after Merkel, esp. given that he will sign a memorandum with the Chinese Communist Party declaring ČSSD's readiness to strive for "deepening the multifaceted strategic partnership between China and the EU." Sobotka hasn't said publicly whether he will go to bat in Beijing for the Chinese team on the issue of free trade within the WTO, but it would be in keeping with ČSSD's current behavior of trying to arrange deals (police reform, Škoda Transportation arbitration, SkyToll contract, Altner payment postponement) that benefit primarily ČSSD, without taking into account the interests of the country or even of its own voters. [Czech Republic Zdeněk Czech Railways reorganization tolls Supreme Court]

Glossary of difficult words

to play second fiddle to - to have a subordinate role to someone or something; to be treated as less important than someone or something;

Market Economy Status - a status within the World Trade Organization granting greater protection in the event of anti-dumping procedures;

to repeat after - to repeat what someone else has said;

multifaceted - having many different aspects or features;

to go to bat for - to defend the interests of.

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