Final Word from Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Daniel Křetínský's No. 1 source of income is Vladimir Putin. That is if you accept the axiom that Putin is Gazprom. The monopoly Russian natural-gas exporter has a transit contract with Eustream of Slovakia that brought Křetínský and his EPH partners €173m in 2017. Ever since Křetínský shocked France last fall by buying a minority in Le Monde, he has had to defend against suspicions that he's an oligarch under the influence of Russia. In a rare interview, Křetínský told Canal+ in impeccable French that this is offensive to him and that there isn't a single reason to call him a Russian agent. Yet he boasted that the value of the companies he owns is €3bn. How did someone from an "absolutely normal family" do this in a decade? It's much easier for the French to see him as a front for Russia than as the product of profitable connections at ČEZ and other public-owned Czech companies. If he wants to dispel the rumors, he can issue a sincere report, "How I made my fortune." [ Czech Republic SPP ]

Glossary of difficult words

axiom - a statement or proposition which is regarded as being established, accepted or self-evidently true;

impeccable - in accordance with the highest standards; faultless;

front - a person or organization serving as a cover for subversive or illegal activities;

to dispel - to make (a doubt, feeling or belief) disappear.

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