Final Word from Monday, August 27, 2018

After Václav Klaus's government fell in late-1997, Prof. Jan Švejnar was offered the PM's job by Václav Havel, and Švejnar is still today usually considered a Havel man. It's often forgotten that he's been on Andrej Babiš's payroll since July 2014. That's when Švejnar was appointed chairman of the super. board of Český Aeroholding by Babiš's finance ministry. This must be taken into consideration when Švejnar tells HN today that he disagrees with a quick rise in interest rates by the CNB. The interest-rate differential between the eurozone and the CR could become a competitive disadvantage for Czech companies, Švejnar said. This is no doubt true, but is he saying it as Prof. Švejnar or as a representative of the Babiš public-private partnership? Agrofert owed Kč 30.8bn to 30 banks at the end of 2016. If Babiš criticized the CNB policy of raising interest rates the way Donald Trump has been blasting the Fed, he'd get into hot water. Švejnar has now conveniently done it instead. [ Czech Republic prime minister supervisory sup. Czech National Bank PPP ]

Glossary of difficult words

to slam - (informal) to criticize severely;

differential - a difference between amounts, prices or values of things;

to blast - to criticize severely;

in hot water - in trouble or disgrace.

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