Final Word from Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Andrej Babiš has been making unsubstantiated allegations about Miroslav Kalousek's income sources for years. Babiš claimed in Parliament as early as July 10, 2015, that Kalousek had a company with arms dealer Richard Háva in Austria and Switzerland, where "he stole billions." This comment raised questions about Kalousek's activities as deputy defense minister but was ultimately a low blow, because it left everyone guessing. A remark recounted by Ondřej Závodský on Page 128 of his new book, "The Time of Oligarchs, their Servants and their Enemies," is more substantial. Závodský quotes Babiš as telling coworkers (in Slovak): "That Kalúsek, that piece of shit, that asshole, he and Háva have 9 billion in an Austrian bank." How did Babiš, as finance minister, know that Kalousek and Háva had exactly Kč 9bn? Did Babiš perhaps get a report from his Austrian counterpart under the new OECD information-exchange rules? This time the public deserves a straight answer. [ Czech Republic bank account NFPK Anticorruption Endowment ]

Glossary of difficult words

Kalúsek - the way Babiš reportedly says "Kalousek";

unsubstantiated - not supported or proven by evidence;

low blow - a comment or tactic regarded as unfair or unkind;

straight - not evasive; honest.


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