Final Word from Tuesday, December 28, 2004





It's not easy to pick the most important Czech political event of 2004, because so much happened. There was EU accession, three ČSSD election defeats, Vladimír Špidla's demise, the quasi-return of Miloš Zeman, the continued dominance of Václav Klaus, the Grosstapo, and the rise of the wiretap as a political institution. Our choice, though, was the moment on Dec. 5 when ODS Chair Mirek Topolánek said he'll almost never react again to anything that Stanislav Gross says. Topolánek was marking Gross as a dead man. If someone had said this about Klaus or Zeman, the person would have been torn to shreds. But Gross let it pass, ceding tremendous ground to Topolánek. Gross will get another chance on Sat., when he faces Topolánek on TV Nova's "7" debate show. This head-to-head battle will play a big role in defining the political direction in 2005 and 2006. [Sedmička Czech Republic European Union]

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