Final Word from Tuesday, January 19, 2021

In a moment of extreme candor, PM Andrej Babiš told TV Prima on Jan. 3 that this year will be difficult, and next year probably also, but that we could return to normal in 2023. It was a starkly pessimistic assessment that, if accurate, means the parliamentary elections on Oct. 8-9 will be entirely about covid-19. Babiš has more or less followed the guidelines of the WHO, so centrist coalitions that want to defeat him will need to give a convincing alternative to the global pandemic response. Arguing vaguely that they would have done the same thing but better isn't a winning recipe. It will take some sort of brilliant plan. Not even a hint of such brilliance is visible in the coalition agreement between the Pirates and the STAN mayors' group. "Pandemic" and "epidemic" are mentioned three times, but other­wise it's difficult to find even an allusion to what is going on in the outside world. For once, Babiš's opponents should take his words at face value. They need a foul-weather plan. [ Czech Republic CNN Prima News 2022 World Health Organization ]

Glossary of difficult words

fair-weather friend - a person whose friendship cannot be relied on in times of difficulty;

candor - the quality of being open and honest;

starkly - in an unpleasantly or sharply clear way;

to take something at face value - to accept something as it appears to be rather than studying it more closely;

foul - (of weather) wet and stormy.

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