Final Word from Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Opposition politicians, analysts, journalists and cultural giants have the worst possible opinion of PM Andrej Babiš and don't even believe him when he bids them "good day." He was willing to sell out his own children to make a fast buck in the Stork's Nest scam, they argue, and he takes no prisoners in running ANO as his own personal power center. If he's loyal to Miloš Zeman, they add, it's only because a presidential pardon might serve him well. Yet when it comes to evaluating yesterday's nomination of Věra Jourová as VP of the EU Commission and commissioner for the rule of law, these same critics cast aside any aspersions of self-dealing and chalk up the weak portfolio to failed good intentions on the part of this supposedly skillful negotiator. We're only surmising, but what if Babiš was telling the truth yesterday, and things really did work out just as he was hoping? What if he agreed with Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and Ursula von der Leyen to use Jourová to bring Visegrád into line, in exchange for immunity for his own sins? In the eyes of his critics, wouldn't that in fact be typical Babiš? [ Czech Republic France Germany European Union Group Visegrad Four ]

Glossary of difficult words

to sell out - to betray someone or one's principles for reasons of expedience;

to make a fast buck - to earn a large amount of money quickly and easily;

buck - dollar;

scam - a fraud; a dishonest scheme;

to take no prisoners - to be ruthlessly aggressive or uncompromising in the pursuit of one's objectives;

aspersions - an attack on the reputation or integrity of someone or something;

self-dealing - use of one's position in an organization to gain personal advantage;

to chalk up - to attribute to;

to surmise - to suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it;

to bring into line - to cause someone or something to conform, adhere to, or agree with that which is established or generally accepted.

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