Final Word from Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Vladimír Špidla's cabinet will seek a confidence vote in Parliament today, and most observers agree that it will indeed get confirmed. A few ODS and Communist supporters are nevertheless predicting that the government will fall and that Václav Klaus will appoint a new premier who's more to his liking. Stanislav Gross and Jiří Rusnok are often mentioned, but it seems unlikely that ODS will allow itself now to be the cause of a crisis. Klaus adviser Ladislav Jakl told MFD MF Dnes that it's better to let events take their course. Špidla said on Czech Radio yesterday that it might be appropriate for ČSSD to create a broader coalition if the international situation escalates sharply. Although he said he considers this very unlikely, it was apparently the first time he had shown any willingness to work with ODS. Such flexibility might be what it takes for him to survive the year.


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