Final Word from Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Whether he admits it or not, Bohuslav Sobotka's days as ČSSD chair and Czech PM are numbered. All he can do is stall as he looks for an escape route. He wants to delay the inevitable by rejuvenating ČSSD and bringing in new faces, such as Tomáš Prouza and Josef Bernard. Prouza is an insignificant figure who merely sends the signal to Berlin and Washington that ČSSD remains pro-Western. The real hope is on Bernard, who got rich on Martin Roman's connections to Russia and to the Caymans. The new ČSSD will soon have a Pilsen governor whose company is under criminal investigation for suspicion of bribing the arbiters - one of whom represents a major international company - in its Kč 1.1bn dispute with Czech Railways. A governor whose company paid dividends of Kč 6.5bn to its offshore owner, which goes against Sobotka's campaign promise to curb such expatriation of profits. This is the new ČSSD. It's just like the old one, but it needs a new face. If ANO can have as its chairman a shady oligarch whose company is under police investigation, why can't ČSSD too? [Czech Republic Škoda Transportation arbitration]

Glossary of difficult words

days are numbered - is not likely to continue in a particular situation or to exist much longer;

to stall - to speak or act in a deliberately vague way in order to gain more time to deal with something;

the inevitable - a situation that is unavoidable ;

to curb - to restrain or keep in check;

expatriation - the sending of (a person or money) abroad;

shady - of doubtful honesty or legality.

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