Final Word from Wednesday, December 11, 2002





Immediately after the parliamentary elections, Cyril Svoboda had to fight off calls for the creation of a new ministry of European affairs, which would have clipped his wings as the new foreign minister. He's now coming under pressure because the CR isn't able to negotiate as much money from the European Union as other candidate countries. One of our readers, a political analyst, said that Svoboda is an amateur and naive negotiator who was too optimistic about what the CR could get from the EU. He missed a chance to explain to Czechs that they would receive the least because the CR is the best prepared for accession, regardless of whether this is true in all respects. Years of negotiations with Brussels are now coming down to a single figure in the press (the net per capita payment from the EU in the first three years), and Svoboda is at a loss to explain it. He might soon wish he had given up the EU agenda.

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