Final Word from Thursday, November 20, 2003





The Špidla cabinet has gotten quite a bad reputation for its lack of transparency, but the general perception has been that Premier Vladimír Špidla himself is Mr. Clean. His biggest fault, the theory has been, is his inability to oversee everything his conniving ministers are doing. He can win some of the battles against them, but not all of them. If the cases of favoritism and untransparency multiply, though, Špidla's own integrity must at some point be questioned. MFD did just that today. It reported that it was Špidla himself who successfully asked the cabinet to change the tender conditions for the coal privatization. Several legitimate bidders were thereby eliminated. There have been several media reports linking Špidla to Appian Group, but today's is the most damaging. It's no secret that Špidla isn't charismatic and isn't an effective leader. If he isn't clean either, what does he have to offer? Severočeské doly Sokolovská uhelná MF Dnes

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