Final Word from Monday, April 6, 2020

Škoda Auto was planning to announce another record year at its annual press conference on March 23 but called off the event after production was suspended on March 18. In an interview with Blesk last week, PM Andrej Babiš made a point of emphasizing that it was not the government that ordered Škoda to close. "I understand that some sectors have it tough," he said. "The automobile sector can be a problem, because Škoda halted production based on a decision of its shareholders, and the impact on the supply chain is huge." Babiš was preparing for a showdown. As the Financial Times reported, whether companies that are paying dividends for 2019 should qualify for government handouts this year is now a big issue across Europe. Babiš knows very well what it's like to squeeze suppliers, so he understands how Škoda achieves its record financial results. And when it comes time to bail out the car industry, he'll want Volkswagen to reach into its own deep pockets. [ Czech Republic suppliers ]

Glossary of difficult words

showdown - a final test or confrontation intended to settle a dispute;

handout - a quantity of financial or other material aid given to a person or organization;

to squeeze - to apply pressure in an effort to obtain something from someone;

to bail out - to rescue from a difficult position.

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