Final Word from Wednesday, October 10, 2018



When Josef Bernard left as CEO of Škoda Transportation in early 2015 to enter ČSSD politics, his party was the senior coalition partner and controlled or heavily influenced vast swaths of the national government, including the police, public media, ČEZ and the ÚZSI foreign-intelligence agency. ČSSD had a 19-23% poll rating. Škoda Transportation, a shining example of Sobotka-era ČSSD privatization sales, was reported to be worth Kč 40-50bn. Three years later Škoda was sold to PPF for Kč 7.4bn, a discount of 80-85% on the touted value. Two Škoda people were convicted in Switzerland of fraud, tax-evasion investigations were launched in the CR, and now Transport Min. Dan Ťok is talking about returning dud locomotives made under Bernard's watch. ČSSD's own "value" dropped during this same period by nearly 80%, from 19-23% in the polls to a 7.27% finish in the 2017 parliamentary elections and 5.17% in last week's municipal elections. To understand ČSSD, study Škoda T. [ Czech Republic Holding Plzeň spy Czech TV Television ]

Glossary of difficult words

swath/swathe - a broad strip or area of something;

to tout - to attempt to persuade people of the merits of;

dud - a thing that fails to work properly or is otherwise unsatisfactory or worthless;

under someone's watch - during someone's tenure in a position of responsibility.

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