Final Word from Thursday, May 29, 2003

Czech political commentators are sometimes so close to what's happening that they can't see the forest for the trees. They can get bogged down in the details and lose sight of the big picture. Sometimes, though, insiders are the first to spot the subtle signs of a new political direction. So far, it's been generally assumed that the Špidla cabinet will have trouble passing its public-finance reforms because of a rebellion within its own ranks. A single MP could bring on early elections. But Alexandr Mitrofanov of Právo, whose second home is in Parliament, wrote today that he detected a change on Tues. ČSSD seems to have put aside its intriguing and infighting and now realizes its situation. Much of the thanks for this, he said, goes to Finance Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, whose powers of persuasion have taken hold. Mitrofanov said it's too early to make a definitive assessment, but the first sign of change is apparent.


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