Final Word from Monday, May 10, 2004

Criticism by business leaders of what's happening at Eurotel was too little, too late. Terrence Valeski tendered his resignation on Fri. as CEO of the mobile operator, and there are signs that a quick privatization of Český Telecom is taking shape. Ironically, the criticism in MFD on Thur. by CEO Jack Stack of Česká spořitelna, VP Tomáš Šabatka of Mondi and others could help to speed up the process by driving down Telecom's share price and making the privatization appear more urgent. It seems that only two things could stand in the way of a below-value sale and "leakage" in procurement. First, a change of government brought on by ČSSD's disastrous results in this year's elections. And second, a shareholder lawsuit that takes the state to task for destroying value. Telecom's fate is now in the hands of the "little people" - voters and minority shareholders. Stanislav Gross


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