Final Word from Wednesday, February 11, 2004





Sen. Richard Falbr told Právo that when Miloš Zeman was the boss, he'd lay down the law about how ČSSD's MPs were to vote, and they'd listen. Vladimír Špidla doesn't enjoy such authority, and it has contributed to a worsening of the level of transparency in the CR. There's a free-for-all that Špidla can't bring under control. There are numerous known cases of intransparency, such as the coal privatization, the sale of Madeta dairy, and SAP's farm-payments contract. Two lesser-known cases are a huge audit contract at ČEZ that only one firm conveniently meets the conditions for, and the sudden employment of Radek Novotný (who headed the expert commission on fighters) by a company linked to BAE Systems. If Špidla were firmly in charge, he'd kick butt and take names. Instead, he risks being replaced by someone whose own intentions aren't as admirable.

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