Final Word from Wednesday, June 8, 2005

When Deputy Premier Martin Jahn proposed unsolicited right-wing solutions to healthcare and income tax, he was pounced on by both the left and the right. When he fulfilled his assigned task last week of developing an economic-growth strategy for the next eight years, he met again with the same criticism from both sides. Although he was presenting an economic document the cabinet had asked for, he heard only political counterarguments. Perhaps ČSSD and ODS have better ideas for achieving sustainable economic growth. Or perhaps they're not really interested in it. The reactions to Jahn's plan suggest that ČSSD and ODS are preparing for a period of cohabitation after the elections that will put reform on the back burner. Czech politicians, after all, are businessmen too, and the end of government regulation would diminish the value of the services they have to sell. [Czech Republic grand coalition]


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