Final Word from Monday, December 13, 2004





Viktor Yushchenko told the Financial Times that, once elected, his administration will go to court to reverse illegal privatizations. Miloš Zeman said something similar five years ago, when he declared that scores of coupon companies would be renationalized. Zeman got elected by saying coupon privatization was the steal of the century, and he vowed to put economic bosses in prison sweatpants. With few exceptions, his big words never went anywhere. The CR's robber barons got away scot-free, because legislators, central bankers and ministry officials saw to it that their theft was legal. The FT indicated that this also applies to Ukraine. Yushchenko can either adopt Putin-like policy and arbitrarily throw oligarchs in jail, or he can stick to the "rule of law." The CR is proof that the world will accept anything in the transformation process, as long as it's "legal." [Czech Republic voucher Czech National Bank Vladimir Putin Russia]

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