Final Word from Tuesday, December 10, 2002





One of the defining moments of the Zeman cabinet was the last-minute awarding of the D47 road contract to Highway & Construction of Israel, without a tender. Miloš Zeman's opponents are citing the deal as one reason why the former premier shouldn't return to politics. MF Dnes reported this week that the police have begun investigating Shiran, H&C's parent, for suspicion of laundering dirty money in the CR. (Shiran denies the allegation.) Why, MFD asked today, did the Czech police only begin looking into this now, when there have been suspicions for more than a year? The paper didn't give an answer, but it seems obvious enough. Premier Vladimír Špidla and Interior Minister Stanislav Gross are sending a warning to Zeman and his pals: Back away from the presidency, or else. The highway contract is merely a tool in their political game.

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