Final Word from Monday, January 15, 2018

No matter how the second round of the Czech presidential elections turns out in two weeks, the new head of state will not be the president of everyone. The two camps are too divided, and never the twains shall meet. The only real question is whether Drahoš would retain his own supporters if he radically changed his policies once in office. In his first full interview after advancing to the second round, he told Czech Radio yesterday that the CR should do business with China but only on the basis of equals. "Business, yes, but not kowtowing," is how he put it in a previous interview. This is implicit criticism of Zeman's policy of allowing the Chinese to get more out of the relationship than the Czechs do. As it is, what little the Czechs do get is going mainly to Petr Kellner, who for all that kowtowing is getting a banking license in China. Drahoš's problem is that if he, too, becomes Kellner's errand boy, he'll lose many of his current voters without ever winning over Zeman's. [Czech Republic Russia Chinese PPF Home Credit]

Glossary of difficult words

Correction: PPF has received a consumer-lending license, but not a banking license; 

never the twains shall meet - two things are so different that they will never have the occasion to unite;

to kowtow - to act in an excessively subservient manner;

implicit - suggested although not directly expressed;

errand boy - a boy employed in a shop or office to make deliveries and run other errands; flunky.


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