Final Word from Wednesday, June 11, 2003

At the Battle of the Little Big Horn in Montana in June 1876, George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Calvary met a crushing defeat at the hands of the Plains Indians. Some politicians, both within ČSSD and without, are hoping the EU referendum will be Vladimír Špidla's last stand. There's little doubt the referendum will pass, but if the margin of victory or the turnout is too small, Špidla risks getting massacred. While speaking to the Czech BBC yesterday, he refused to acknowledge that a low turnout would be a personal defeat, but figures of 50-55% have been thrown around as a minimum acceptable level. Anything less would raise serious questions about the effectiveness of the Kč 200m campaign and Špidla's leadership. After Custer's defeat, the U.S. army got serious about wiping out the Indians. Some politicians are now planning for life after Špidla.


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