Final Word from Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Sometimes the most important news appears in big headlines on Page 1, and sometimes it's buried on Page 11. And so it was with a revealing comment in LN on Sat. by ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek. Topolánek hasn't been mincing words in accusing Stanislav Gross of cutting deals and dishing out favors to business groups, but when push came to shove he refused to say who the businessmen are. The CR is controlled by a handful of people, he told LN, but he wouldn't name them "because (he) wants to continue to live in this country." He said he's no scaredy-cat but gave no guarantee that he'd be any more aggressive against the CR's oligarchs as premier than as opposition leader. Jaroslav Plesl of LN supplied a clue to understanding Topolánek's reticence. Topol's old company VAE has some bad debt hanging about, and no one knows who owns it.


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