Final Word from Friday, July 16, 2004





If there's anything Czech entrepreneurs dislike, it's bureaucracy. EU accession has been disproportionately hard on them, because they aren't as well-equipped to deal with all the new rules and regulations as big companies. Czech entrepreneurs acknowledge that one thing that keeps them going is the Bata spirit, which is still alive and well, 110 years after the founding of the Bata shoe company in 1894. Thomas J. Bata, son of the founder, turns 90 in Sept. A celebration is planned at Prague Castle, under the auspices of President Václav Klaus, and the country's top politicians will be invited. (The Fleet Sheet, which counts Mr. Bata among its early subscribers, is an organizer and sponsor.) Bata's 90th birthday is a good opportunity to remind lawmakers that their goal should be to make life easier, not more difficult, for present and future Bata-like entrepreneurs. Shoe Organization party

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