Final Word from Tuesday, March 16, 2004

The International Herald Tribune listed Interior Minister Stanislav Gross and KDU-ČSL Chair Miroslav Kalousek as "up-and-coming" political leaders in Eastern Europe. At least in the case of Gross, it might have been just as prescient to label him as an "up-but-going" politician. His position is precarious, and it's not clear which way he'll end up. He's been trying to deflect attention from his failures as the CR's top cop and, according to LN, he's already acting like ČSSD's second chairman. The terrorist attack in Madrid has allowed him to take more control, but he'd be the first to get the blame for any security failure. There've been rumors for years that he owes his quick rise (he's only 34) to a network of ex-StB agents who want him at the interior ministry to guarantee them immunity. He might ride this to become premier one day, or he might fall flat on his baby face.


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