Final Word from Thursday, July 21, 2016

The second government of Václav Klaus fell apart on Nov. 28, 1997, in one of the most dramatic episodes in Czech politics. While Klaus was in Sarajevo, Ivan Pilip and Jan Ruml called on him to resign, saying they could no longer bear to see him and others in ODS suffer under allegations of illegal campaign financing. Within a matter of weeks, 30 of ODS's 69 MPs had jumped ship to found the Freedom Union. How serious, in retrospect, were the allegations? A secret bank account in Switzerland, and two anonymous payments totalling Kč 7.5m. Compare this to what MP Marie Benešová of ČSSD is now saying about her own party: The police reorganization was likely an attempt by a certain group of people, including those without the proper authority, to gain access to police files that had been denied to them. The goal, she thinks, was to sweep cases under the rug. Where is the outrage within ČSSD, other than Benešová's own? The silence makes all of ČSSD's members complicit in a crime as least as great as the stated reasons for Klaus's forced abdication. [Czech Republic assassination attempt US]

Glossary of difficult words

to jump ship - to leave a job or activity suddenly;

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

complicit - involved with others in an activity that is unlawful or morally wrong;

abdication - renunciation of a throne or position of high authority.

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