Final Word from Monday, February 23, 2004





Whatever the real reason for Miloš Kužvart's resignation on Fri. as EU commissioner, it is true, as he claims, that the foreign ministry undermined him. Minister Cyril Svoboda suggested several times that Kužvart wouldn't last longer than six months in Brussels. If this was Svoboda's way of trying to get the job for himself, Kužvart's inability to stand up to criticism ruined any chance Svoboda had. Svoboda was forced to announce on Czech Radio on Fri. that he has no interest in the post. The other person singled out by Kužvart was Amb. to the EU Pavel Telička, who had also been rumored to want the job. He's still got a chance, but he's hurt by his past membership in the Communist Party and his relationship to lobbyists working for Appian Group. The cabinet will now likely have to chose a squeaky-clean candidate who played no role in Kužvart's downfall.

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