Final Word from Monday, November 22, 2004





All the hullabaloo about the 15th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution accentuated the Establishment's version of what happened on and after Nov. 17, 1989. It's understandable that those who ended up profiting should want to praise the results of their work. Few voices of dissent were heard, except from the Communists. One exception was writer Ivan Klíma, who told the BBC that he never imagined back then that people could steal billions of crowns and get away with it. He said this even as the latest "tunnel" (at Čepro) was unfolding. The CR has nevertheless come a long way in 15 years and is now rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit as the 34th best place in the world in terms of quality of life, not far behind the U.K., at 29th. Despite all the billions stolen, the CR is still in the big league in terms of material well-being, political stability and civil liberties. country

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