Final Word from Tuesday, February 24, 2004





The coalition's decision last night to nominate Amb. to the EU Pavel Telička, a career diplomat, as EU commissioner highlights the problem the CR has finding qualified politicians to send into the world. The CR has talented diplomats, businesspeople, sportsmen and singers to dispatch around the globe, but the situation with politicians isn't so bright. Of those qualified on paper, most spent many years abroad, such as Libor Rouček, Jan Kavan and Karel Kühnl. The list of homegrown politicians able to stand up and give a coherent speech in a foreign language is short. Names that come to mind are Jan Zahradil, Ivan Pilip, Josef Zieleniec and Miloslav Ransdorf. (Václav Klaus, Havel and Miloš Zeman are in categories of their own.) EU entry will bring new challenges. It'd be sad if in five or ten years the government still had trouble finding a qualified politician to send to Brussels.

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