Final Word from Thursday, October 31, 2002





Jacques Rupnik, a Czech-French political scientist and "friend of Václav Havel," told Czech Radio last week that many of the people who entered politics soon after the 1989 revolution did so for wholly unselfish reasons. Some of those who came later, though, were attracted by power, privileges and the money that privatization brought. He suggested that Havel and other moral figures stand apart from the corruptive party system that now dominates. Just a few hours later, Havel awarded a medal of honor to Rupnik and several other "friends of Havel." Some politicians and parts of the media thought Havel was abusing his position by giving honors to his friends. In some cases, it wasn't clear what the people had done for the CR. Havel and his friends seem to have forgotten that corruption doesn't always mean an envelope under the table.

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