Final Word from Tuesday, July 27, 2004





Stanislav Gross, who was appointed premier yesterday, told Právo that learning English is now a priority. He indicated on F1 radio last night that he's been devoting two hours a week to it, unless something else gets in the way. Vladimír Špidla has also vowed to get his English up to speed. He says he'll improve his knowledge from passive to active within six months. He's starting from a much firmer base than Gross, though, and he'll have lots of time on his hands now. MP Jan Kavan, who speaks excellent English, noted on TV Nova that reaching an acceptable level in six months nevertheless won't be easy for Špidla. Gross will have it even worse. For him to be ready for a meeting with Tony Blair without an interpreter would realistically mean several hours of hard work per day, for months on end. He might have to let someone else handle the privatizations. language study

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