Final Word from Wednesday, February 21, 2018

At what point do foreign investors need to start worrying that a center-left government of ANO and ČSSD, with KSČM support, will try to stick it to them? Now is probably a good time. The Czech business press, meaning mainly Hospodářské noviny, has made such a big deal out of Czexit in an attempt to damage Andrej Babiš politically that it has overlooked the far more realistic scenario of a carefully contrived tax and regulatory shake-up that targets Babiš's political and business rivals and that fits well with ČSSD and KSČM's leftist agendas. It probably won't be a bank-sector tax; Babiš has rejected the idea, and he needs to keep his bankers happy (Agrofert had bank loans of Kč 30.8bn at the end of 2016). Obvious choices include a crackdown on transfers to murky offshore structures and restrictions on subsidies to companies with foreign owners. These are some of the things Babiš dreams of, and with ČSSD and the Communists, his dreams can soon come true. [Czech Republic What I Dream about When I Happen to Sleep be sleeping book]

Glossary of difficult words

to stick it to someone - to treat someone harshly or severely;

to contrive - to create or bring about (an object or a situation) by deliberate use of skill and artifice;

crackdown - a series of severe measures to restrict undesirable or illegal people or behavior;

murky - obscure or morally questionable.

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