Final Word from Friday, October 22, 2004





A small graph in a recent issue of Newsweek magazine was a sad advertisement for the CR. It cited a PwC survey that ranked the CR below Russia and Indonesia in terms of legal systems that respect contracts and property rights. Another survey, the 2004 Opacity Index by The Kurtzman Group, ranked the CR behind Greece and Brazil in terms of transparency. This week, Transparency Int. ranked the CR as one of the most corrupt countries in the EU. To its credit, the Gross cabinet is taking steps for reducing bureaucracy and corruption in bankruptcy and company registration. Domestically, ministers Milan Urban, Pavel Němec, Jaroslav Bureš and Martin Jahn are doing a good job of selling their reforms. Internationally, though, the CR might have to devote more resources to countering its image of a corrupt, legally backward enclave in the heart of Europe. PricewaterhouseCoopers public relations Stanislav Gross corruption

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