Final Word from Thursday, December 16, 2021

Numerous Czechs could rightly be proclaimed Person of the Year in a positive or negative sense, given that so much happened in 2021. Petr Kellner's untimely death was certainly a major event; Andrej Babiš won the elections, but lost; Miloš Zeman hung on medically and politically against the odds; Michal Koudelka put the Russians in their place; Markéta Peka­rová Adamová kept TOP 09 in the game; Pavla Holcová showed the power of a surprise attack by anonymous sources. But it was Petr Fiala who pulled away in the final stretch, sealing a deal with Zeman to form a new government. Fiala's bold decision to create a coalition with two lesser parties paid off, as did a campaign that depicted Babiš as a "threat that must be stopped." That seemed like overkill at the time, but then it melded beautifully with Holcová's coup de grâce. Perhaps our Person of the Year will reveal in his memoirs whether he, too, didn't have an unnamed source whispering to him that Pandora Papers were coming. [ Czech Republic BIS ODS KDU-ČSL Spolu Together ANO grace ]

Glossary of difficult words

Correction: We have corrected Pavla Holcová's name (not Petra) and apologize for the mistake.

untimely - (of a death or end) happening too soon or sooner than normal;

to hang on - to remain firm or persevere, esp. in difficult circumstances;

to pull away - to move to a superior position in a competition, either physically or figuratively;

final stretch - the last part of a track before the end of a race;

to depict - to portray in words;

overkill - excessive use, treatment or action;

to meld - to blend; to combine;

coup de grâce - an action or event that serves as the culmination of a bad or deteriorating situation.

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