Final Word from Monday, August 23, 2004

Pessimists will say that MP Zdeněk Kořistka's claim that ODS offered him Kč 10m to vote against the Gross government was an effort to win 15 minutes of fame and to sully ODS. Kořistka only turned down the offer, cynics will argue, because it's worth more to him financially for the Gross cabinet to survive. Pessimists will also say that Pavel Přibyl's appointment as head of the premier's office was an example of how Czech politicians show contempt for the very voters who put them into office. Optimists, though, will say these two cases offer hope. Kořistka came forward when it would have been easy to take the money and run. And Přibyl was forced out on Fri. after civic groups and the media showed that they wouldn't let the issue die. Czechs tend to be passive in their exercise of democracy, but when they put their minds to it, they can make a difference. Stanislav US-DEU


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