Final Word from Wednesday, March 12, 2003

The cabinet won confirmation yesterday, as expected, giving Premier Vladimír Špidla a freer hand to sack a few ministers. Several names have been mentioned, but Labor Minister Zdeněk Škromach and Industry Minister Jiří Rusnok seem to be the most likely candidates for removal. They've publicly gone against Špidla recently. Most businesses wouldn't mourn the loss of Škromach, since he's one of the more left-leaning ministers. Rusnok, though, has won open praise. The Euro-Czech Forum said in its Progress Barometer report that Rusnok's position paper on improving the business climate has been a positive step. Although others say that CzechInvest was the real force behind this, there's no guarantee that the next minister would be so supportive of the agency. It'd be a pity to risk losing the momentum merely because Rusnok voted for Václav Klaus for president.


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