Final Word from Monday, April 3, 2017

A peculiarity of the civil-service law is that high-level government officials are held accountable for their actions by their own minister. This is appropriate in the case of Karel Borůvka, who is being recalled as amb. to Liechtenstein and Switzerland because of his wife's public comments. (She says the real reason is that Lubomír Zaorálek is hopelessly in love with her.) It's different in the case of a high-level official who violates the civil-service law at the behest of his or her own minister. We wrote about this in Feb. with regard to Dep. Finance Min. Alena Schillerová and then-State Secretary Tomáš Prouza. The finance minister or prime minister can't be expected to punish someone voluntarily for following orders, but Prouza's case sends a warning to other overly obedient civil servants about the wheels of justice. When Sobotka needed something from one of the main targets of Prouza's political attacks, Miloš Zeman put his foot down, and Prouza paid the price. [Czech Republic EU European Affairs Andre Babiš president]

Glossary of difficult words

peculiarity - a characteristic that is distinctive of a particular person, place or thing;

behest - a person's orders or command;

to put one's foot down - to use one’s authority to stop something from happening.

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