Final Word from Thursday, February 22, 2018

Although many Czechs haven't noticed it, their country is in the grip of the biggest clan war in recent history. The closest comparisons are probably the incursion Motoinvest made into the established financial order in 1995 ("Small shareholders, cry!") and the takeover of IPB by ČSOB in 2000. This time you have the privatizers of ČEZ, OKD and Škoda Plzeň on one side, and Andrej Babiš, Miloš Zeman and Jaromír Soukup on the other. The ČEZ-OKD-Škoda group did everything it could to prevent Babiš and Zeman from being elected, and it is now trying to thwart Babiš's efforts to form a government. Babiš and Zeman have responded by joining forces with political outsiders (the post-Sobotka ČSSD, KSČM, SPD). Soukup is providing the heavy artillery by exposing details of the Škoda and OKD privatizations. The anti-Babiš and anti-Zeman forces are at a marked disadvantage, because they've already fired most of their ammunition (Stork's Nest, one-crown bonds, Czexit, pro-Russian orientation). Soukup, undoubtedly with the full blessing of Babiš and Zeman, is only getting started. [Czech Republic Transportation]

Glossary of difficult words

clan - a group of people with a strong common interest;

in the grip of - dominated or affected by something undesirable or adverse;

incursion - an invasion or attack, esp. a sudden or brief one;

to thwart - to prevent (someone) from accomplishing something;

marked - clearly noticeable.

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