Final Word from Wednesday, November 6, 2002





Almost as if Václav Klaus knew that the CR's credit rating would be cut a notch by Standard & Poor's this week, to A+, he gave one of his best recent economic interviews to the BBC a few days ago. He said that the economy is coming to a halt and that it's horrible news that the ČSSD government hasn't yet launched an austerity package. Now is the time for one, he argued. He revealed that ODS will submit a proposal for the mid-term consolidation of public finances, as well as a draft law on permanent budget discipline. Klaus' performance might have been an indirect reaction to an earlier interview by Prof. Jan Švejnar, who had said Klaus isn't a world-class economist. Klaus of course blamed everyone but himself for the economic slowdown, and esp. the Czech National Bank, but he made a good case for doing something quickly.

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