Final Word from Thursday, August 11, 2016

Snubbing a politician by refusing to meet with him or her can be an effective tool for emphasizing a given foreign-policy objective. George W. Bush never invited the Iraq-bashing Václav Klaus to the White House, and Putin-loving Miloš Zeman is receiving the same treatment from Barack Obama. Angela Merkel will visit Bohuslav Sobotka in Prague later this month, according to MFD, just weeks after Deutsche Welle wrote that Zeman is "no fan" of hers. Merkel's first instinct might be to snub Zeman during the trip, esp. after the way Zeman broke with protocol a month ago in Mongolia by saying publicly that he was looking forward to the upcoming meeting (which hadn't even been announced yet). She'll have almost no choice but to make a courtesy call to the Castle, but she'll have to be careful. She's twice as unpopular in the CR as she is at home, according to recent opinion polls, and Zeman is playing a game with her. Sobotka is hoping the visit will give ČSSD a boost before the regional and Senate elections, but Zeman will want it to have precisely the opposite effect. [Czech Republic German war]

Glossary of difficult words

"we'll manage it" - Merkel's famous pronouncement about the refugee crisis;

to snub - to rebuff, ignore, or spurn disdainfully;

to bash - to fiercely criticize or oppose;

to break with - to go against or violate.


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