Final Word from Friday, August 30, 2002





The CR finally took a stance this week on Iraq. Foreign Minister Cyril Svoboda said an attack wouldn't be the optimal solution. Premier Vladimír Špidla said the Czech position needs to take into account how the EU sees the issue. The cabinet apparently wants to have it both ways. It wants to please the EU and also avoid angering the U.S. too much. But it might be TV Nova, and not the cabinet, that sets the tone among common Czechs. Its TV coverage has been decidedly anti-American recently. Criticism of the size of the U.S. contribution to flood relief and of the Iraq attack have been a way for CEO Vladimír Železný of Nova to fight another war. An award decision in the arbitration dispute with Ronald Lauder of CME is due in a matter of weeks. When the CR is told to pay Lauder a huge amount, Železný wants the anger leveled at the U.S. and not at him.

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