Of goulash and influence

Philippe Riboton

IN THIS MONTH’S cover story, The Prague Tribune looks at the case of influential couples in business and the dynamics behind them. Interestingly enough, it’s been a task for our reporters to convince people to talk openly about that subject. Not that we wanted to transform ourselves into some kind of tabloid magazine that spies on the unofficial (and sometimes dangerous) liaisons that exist between politicians, business people, or even journalists. As a matter of fact, some journalists are pretty famous (or infamous, depending on how you look at it) for taking their information from the very core of its source, the bedroom included. However, we decided to only look at legitimate couples where both partners enjoy a certain degree of influence in the business community. In some cases, the answer we received was a clear and non-negotiable “no”, presumably stemming from the belief in the holy sanctity of personal privacy. As it happens, our questions had nothing whatsoever to do with private life. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to bring you any insights from certain members of, let’s say, the financial community: God only knows, that’s an area that has never seen any cases of insider trading! Thankfully, those that decided to respond to our questions did it without prior negotiation on what they would be asked, or whether they could authorize what would be finally appear in print. They should be thanked for their transparency and their openness to speak, even about topics that might be judged as “touchy”. The Pilips and the Bobošíks are among those, and – whether one likes them or not – they offer an open window on couples that share influence and public exposure. They also offer a pretty interesting gallery of strong characters, wherein women assert themselves as an integral and active part of the couple. A rather unusual occurrence in a society where most men’s idea of an ideal partner is one who exerts her influence in a more confined space – namely in the kitchen, empowering goulash and emancipating dumplings.

Back to top