Final Word from Monday, December 17, 2018

A blind trust is a fiduciary relationship in which the beneficiaries have no knowledge of the assets of the trust or any control over the transactions involving these assets. Even when relatively small amounts of money are at stake, it's difficult to achieve this level of separation. When someone has a conglomerate of the breadth of Agrofert, it's impossible. Yet the EU Commission's legal team said that a blind trust could be a sufficient measure in Andrej Babiš's case if it "ensures that the person concerned has no way of knowing whether he derives a financial or other benefit from a decision he makes or influences." The only way to achieve even a modicum of blindness in Babiš's case is for him to sell Agrofert and then to put the proceeds into a trust. Those who are blindly pushing the idea of blind trust are either merely being theoretical, don't understand what Agrofert is, or are intentionally using this as way to nudge Babiš toward disposing of his agribusiness in a fire sale. [ Czech Republic farm food European Union lawyers Respekt ]

Glossary of difficult words

blind trust - faith in someone or something that might not warrant the faith;

blind trust - a trust independently administering the private business interests of a person in public office to prevent conflict of interest;

fiduciary - involving trust, esp. with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary;

breadth - range or extent;

modicum - a small amount of a particular thing;

to nudge - to coax or gently encourage (someone) to do something;

fire sale - a sale of goods or assets at a very low price, typically when the seller is facing bankruptcy.

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