Final Word from Thursday, July 18, 2024

Six weeks after French voters dumped Emmanuel Macron, and four weeks after Andrej Babiš did, Petr Fiala joined the stampede yesterday. His cabinet surprised nearly everyone but energy and political insiders by choosing KHNP of South Korea over EDF of France to build two new reactors at the Dukovany nuclear plant, with an option for two more at Temelín. During a visit to Prague in March, Macron had said that what the two countries were building together in nuclear power wasn't just about energy or business, but was clearly about strategy and autonomy. Yet Fiala said yesterday that KHNP's offer was better in practically all aspects. Then Westinghouse objected in a statement to having its technology used by KHNP. In addition, just hours before the cabinet's announcement, a Korean-American woman was indicted in the U.S. on charges of acting as an agent of South Korea for more than a decade. It's a highly unusual charge that might not have anything at all to do with the dispute between Westinghouse and KHNP, but it increases the need for Fiala to explain how dumping Macron and irritating the Americans makes strategic sense. [ Czech Republic tender Patriots for Europe United States abandoned ]

Glossary of difficult words

to dump - to abandon or desert (someone);

stampede - a sudden rapid movement or reaction of a mass of people in response to a particular circumstance or stimulus;

to indict - formally to accuse of or charge with a crime.

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