Final Word from Friday, February 20, 2004





ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek told the BBC last week that he hopes his party's draft law on the commercial registry won't be rejected simply because it comes from ODS. Late on Wed. night, he basically got what he wanted. The cabinet reacted neutrally to ODS's bill, which leaves room for a few face-saving modifications by the coalition. ODS can now probably secure easy passage by showing a strong willingness to scratch the government's back in terms of bankruptcy reform. A new cabinet bankruptcy draft will be submitted soon, and passage of it will go much smoother with the opposition's support. Topolánek already told the BBC that he'd welcome cross-party cooperation on this issue too. With all the publicity this week about alleged abuses of the bankruptcy process by judge Jiří Berka, now is probably the best chance in a decade for true bankruptcy reform.

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