Final Word from Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Nedělní svět asked 19 Czechs - and CEO Jack Stack of ČS - for their Person of the Year, and the favorites were Vladimír Špidla and Václav Klaus. We respectfully disagree. It's true, as Stack noted, that Špidla led the CR into the EU and stepped down when it was best for his country. The main problem with Špidla, as we see it, is that he was elevated to the EU Commission despite his failures as a politician. It's time for Czechs to be rewarded for success, not failure. In terms of Klaus, it's true he was the dominant political personality of 2004, as ex-Minister Vladimír Dlouhý noted. Where Klaus slipped, though, was in finding allies. Except for some lackeys in ODS, the media, business and entertainment, he's all alone. Klaus knows how to talk down to his electorate but not to talk up to his peers on the international arena. In this respect, Špidla was far more successful. [Česká spořitelna CEO European Czech Republic]

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