Final Word from Monday, December 4, 2017

One of the big mysteries of the final months of the government of Bohuslav Sobotka was the identity of the Šuman Group, which used its Twitter account to release compromising tapes and bank-account information about Andrej Babiš's Stork's Nest investment, his alleged abuse of the tax authority to "hammer" a business rival and his steering of his own media after having said that he would not interfere. Some investigative journalists talked about getting close to the source of the leaks, which is like "almost" finding the needle in the haystack. Šuman remains a specter, but since the elections it has gone benign, printing material that falls within the bounds of regular political competition. Šuman couldn't be blamed if it suddenly got cold feet. Babiš will soon take over the intelligence services, the interior ministry and ČEZ, which are among the logical suspects. Chances are someone in the Šuman Group will break away from the pack and seek Babiš's forgiveness and favor. [Czech Republic agencies spy Skupina Šuman]

Glossary of difficult words

kinder, gentler - a word combination made popular by George H. W. Bush, who wanted a "kinder and gentler nation";

to hammer (someone) - to attack or criticize forcefully and relentlessly;

to get cold feet - to experience a loss of nerve or confidence;

benign - gentle and kind; not harmful;

to break away from the pack - to dissociate oneself from a group.

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