Final Word from Wednesday, December 27, 2017

As a full-time businessman, Andrej Babiš rarely had anything good to say about Poland. He blamed PKN Orlen for not fulfilling its promise to sell him parts of Unipetrol and fought (and lost) a court battle over Kč 20bn in damages. His reputation in Poland was so bad that he had to deny claims in early 2014 that he would use his cabinet seat to force Polish food off the Czech market. Now he is PM, and his language has changed. He expressed confidence last week that Poland would work out its Article 7 problem and convince the EU Commission that everything is okay. This contrasted sharply with the tough language of Foreign Min. Martin Stropnický and EU Commissioner Věra Jourová (both ANO). Babiš can't be blamed for wanting to maintain Visegrad solidarity, but as long as he is a businessman PM, there will always be the nagging question of how much his policies are affected by his interest in slicing off more of a given food or chemical market. [Czech Republic rule of law]

Glossary of difficult words

nagging - persistent; bothersome;

to slice off - to acquire for oneself.

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