Final Word from Thursday, January 22, 2004





There's no denying that Václav Klaus has produced a minor PR miracle as president. His reading of public sentiment has been excellent, and his approval rating has soared to 60%. As a tactician, he must know that his biggest threat to reelection is Miloš Zeman. As unlikely as it now seems, Zeman could conceivably manage the same kind of PR turnaround as Klaus. A positive shift in Zeman's image has already become visible this week. It could be in Klaus' interest to strike an "edict of toleration" with Zeman now, instead of risking an attack from him later. For example, it might be safer for Klaus to support a Zeman bid for EU commissioner - perhaps in six months, after Miloš Kužvart has "historically discredited" himself - than to have him in the public eye at home. A nervous ČSSD might decide, too, that it's safer to have Zeman in Brussels than in Prague. public relations

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