Final Word from Tuesday, March 9, 2004

Two days before the cabinet is to address the fighter deal again, ČTK reported that the Kč 20bn figure for a 10-year lease is final. If so, this doesn't represent much of a victory for Defense Minister Miroslav Kostelka. He's been saying for weeks that the Swedes will have to sweeten their offer, otherwise the Belgians could get another chance. In a hush-hush letter to Kostelka, the Americans reportedly complained that the expert commission initially found no difference between the Swedish and Belgian bids but used new criteria to break the tie. The result, the Americans said, is that the CR would pay the Swedes 20% more than necessary. That's about Kč 3bn. However, the U.S. has reportedly now turned its main interest to the even bigger contract for armored personnel carriers. Its top objective now, we are told, is to make sure the tender is transparent this time. Sweden Belgium Gripens F-16


Tel: 420 224 221 580

Published by

E.S. Best s.r.o.
Ovenecká 78/33
170 00 Prague 7
Czech Republic



FS Final Word