Final Word from Thursday, February 16, 2017

When the finance minister goes on the air and denies that the tax authority is answerable to him, only to call it "his" a few minutes later, there's not much anyone can do except point out the inconsistency. Politicians can prevaricate and manipulate as long as voters allow them to. The same does not apply to a civil servant. They work for the state first and their minister second. They sign an oath saying they will not abuse their position and will act in a proper and unbiased way. Tomáš Prouza was violating this by sharply criticizing non-ČSSD politicians, but he has toned it down considerably. The biggest question mark is now over Dep. Finance Min. for Tax Alena Schillerová. She has helped Andrej Babiš mislead the public about the tax-collection benefits of the EET and invoice-matching systems. In abusing her position to make her boss look good, she has acted more like a politician than a civil servant. Taxpayers get big fines for half as much duplicity. [Czech Republic online sales reporting deputy minister state secretary civil service]

Glossary of difficult words

answerable to - responsible or having to report to;

to prevaricate - to speak or act in an evasive way;

to tone something down - to make something less extreme or intense;

duplicity - deceitfulness; deception.

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