Final Word from Tuesday, February 17, 2004





The state is preparing to spend Kč 9bn (E277m) to save 2,000 jobs at Aero Vodochody, or Kč 4.5m (E138,000) per job. Respekt gives a figure of Kč 7.5m per job and says it would have been cheaper to keep these people at home on full wages than to bring Boeing in to save the aircraft maker in 1998. The state had trouble giving Aero away then and had to agree to terms that are now coming back to haunt it. Industry Minister Milan Urban blames the mess on ex-Industry Minister Karel Kühnl, and Kühnl blames it on Boeing for not keeping its promises. Kühnl admitted that the cabinet was desperate to find a way to keep Aero afloat. The choice then was the same as the one today, he told Právo. With elections coming, the decision is understandable. The CR's comparative advantage, one reader joked, is that it knows how to keep dead companies alive longer than anyone else.

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